Author Topic: Another missing male university student - May 1  (Read 3085 times)


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Another missing male university student - May 1
« on: May 11, 2009, 03:40:11 PM »
Concern mounts for missing Avon grad who was to get degree from ISU today

Everything seemed to be falling in place for Gerald Smith, a 2005 Avon High School graduate.

The 22-year-old insurance and risk management major was set to graduate today from Indiana State University in Terre Haute and had an insurance job lined up in Wabash.

His success wasn't a surprise to those who know him here.

"He was a top student who was all about meeting every goal and exceeding expectations," said Pam Lyons, a retired Avon High School teacher who had Smith in class. "I taught 34 years, and he was just one of the students that really stood out."

When news reached Avon a week ago that Smith had disappeared from ISU's campus, Lyons, like many of those who know him, was shocked and convinced that university officials made a mistake.

"He is the last person I thought something like this could happen to," she said, "but as more time passes, it gets scarier."

ISU public safety officials say Smith was last seen at 12:40 a.m. May 1 leaving the Ballyhoo Tavern on the eastern edge of campus after celebrating the completion of a class project with friends.

"I just can't even imagine him drinking, because he was so upright, proper and always serious," said Starla Hale, a clerk for the Hendricks County Sheriff's Department who worked with Smith when he interned there during his senior year in high school.

Campus police, state organizations and volunteer students, faculty and even a private company have conducted numerous ground, water and air searches in and around campus since Smith's disappearance. Wabash Valley Crimestoppers set up a reward for information leading to his discovery.

As of Thursday, there was still no sign of him.

The university plans to recognize Smith today at graduation by presenting his mother with the diploma case he would have received.

Smith's parents, Billy and Robin Hill of Avon, couldn't be reached for comment.

But Lyons, speaking on behalf of another teacher too distraught to be interviewed, said Smith excelled in high school while serving as a School and Community Ambassador during his junior and senior years.

Only top student leaders are accepted into that program, she said. Smith didn't disappoint.

"I considered him to be one of our top ambassadors," said Lyons, who started the program. "He was a wonderful representative for our school."

Smith also was active in the Business Professionals of America and French Club in high school.

His birth father died while Smith, an only child, was in high school, adding even more responsibility, which he handled well, Lyons said.

"He worked so hard for everything he accomplished," she said. "He is mature beyond his years, even adultlike when taking on responsibilities, but the thing I remember most about him is that smile.

"I just keep praying that a miracle will happen. I truly want to believe that I'm going to see him again."

I'm really starting to wonder if the happy face killers are actually real
« Last Edit: May 17, 2009, 07:41:29 PM by Desespere »


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Re: Another missing male university student - May 1
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2009, 06:38:43 AM »
You know even after watching the AMW episode on this, I had questions.  Now I wonder, remember it took Vancouver a long time to realize that Kim Rossmo was right. I think that there is a serial killer targeting these young men...just my opinion though. Obviously the two detectives that started this whole thing believes it.  You just never know.

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Re: Another missing male university student - May 1
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2009, 07:37:08 PM »
So many young people have gone missing after a night out with friends. Why do they go home alone, why not spend the night with a friend and go home the next day. This is happening quite a bit, that people just disappear without a trace.  ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::)


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Re: Another missing male university student - May 1
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2010, 07:55:57 PM »
May 8 2009
Updated: May 9, 2009

A body found in the Wabash River Friday evening (May 8) has been identified as that of a missing Indiana State University student.

The body of Gerald Smith of Avon was found near Vincennes at approximately 7:30 p.m. An autopsy conducted Saturday morning at Terre Haute Regional Hospital by Medical Examiner Dr. Roland Kohr determined death was due to accidental drowning.

The 22-year-old insurance and risk management major had been missing since May 1. An Avon High School graduate and the son of Robin and Billy Hill, Gerald had been scheduled to graduate on Saturday.

"On behalf of Indiana State University, Cheri and I offer our deepest sympathies to Robin, Billy and all of Gerald's family and friends," said university President Daniel J. Bradley. "We are proud of the way the university came together during the past week to search for Gerald."

Gerald will be recognized during Indiana State's spring commencement Saturday at Hulman Center.

Contact: Tara Singer, assistant vice president for communications and marketing and university spokesperson, Indiana State University, 812-237-8764 or

Writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or

According to investigators, Smith left a bar near campus early last Friday morning after celebrating the completion of a class project. Police were told Smith didn't usually drink a lot, but this time he did, and a bouncer asked him to leave.

Police say they heard from a witness earlier this week that a man matching Smith's description  was seen talking to a man and a woman in a car between 1:30 and 1:45 a.m. last Friday, but they parted ways a short time later.

So far, police have said they don't believe Smith was the victim of foul play. An autopsy is scheduled for Saturday morning.