Police focused missing Utah teen case on parents

Macin Smith's father and mother say investigative actions will only clear their names

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  • Taylor99 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 20, 2019 10:25 p.m.

    Bizarre and sad case. Nothing overtly points to the family having anything to do with his disappearance, but police may have evidence we're not privy to. As for the poster who mentioned that maybe the police should tell the person that they are tracking that they are tracking them...um...no, that kind of defeats the purpose, eh? Probable cause and well within the law. It's part of the criminal investigation process. I hope their is resolution to the case for all involved.

  • Jonny Canuck Medicine Hat, 00
    May 17, 2019 7:07 p.m.

    Tommy Webb - kudos to you and others for taking an active role in this matter. I feel the youth who associated with Macin at school and church, as well as family members, have been forgotten.

  • Palmetto Bug Columbia, SC
    May 17, 2019 3:56 p.m.

    Just playing devils advocate with some of the previous comments…

    It doesn't sound like the police had any other leads to investigate and family members are often responsible in these situations. Even though the time discrepancy could be easily explained it was still there and probably merited checking out. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the police were just following up on one of the few leads the case provided and I'd rather they run down every lead than ignore one that could break open the case.
    And the parents weren't even aware of the GPS until recently, suggesting the police weren't trying to pester the parents but were trying to find a new clue to pursue. Nothing came from this and the police moved on (the interview and lie-detector were at the husband's request).

    This is a tragic story that has taken a huge toll on the family.

  • BYUalum South Jordan, UT
    May 17, 2019 2:52 p.m.

    As sad as this article was about this missing teen, even sadder was that this badgering and the unfounded accusations towards these parents which actually caused them so much stress, they dissolved their marriage and remaining children and divorced! Get real. The management of this whole thing on the investigation side was and is beyond stupid!

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    May 17, 2019 12:32 p.m.

    This is ridiculous. Leave that family alone.

  • Manny Saint George, UT
    May 17, 2019 11:43 a.m.

    First, I hope they find Macin or obtain some kind of resolution to his whereabouts.

    Secondly, I find the placement of a GPS device on the dad's truck quite disturbing. I guess they obtain a warrant from a Judge to do that. If a warrant is obtained on a person or their belongings, should they be made aware of that ? Apparently not in this case. I guess it was on his truck for 60 days at least, maybe more. What ??

    Just curious, how many GPS tracking devices are on vehicles right now in St George to "investigate" potential suspects ? Could a GRAMA request be given to SGPD to find out ?
    I'd like to know an answer to that one.

    There are many questions still to be asked regarding the police investigation, but this GPS surveillance is very disturbing behavior by the local authorities.

  • Clip the man SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    May 17, 2019 11:32 a.m.

    Like NeifyT said, there isn't a discrepancy in the fact that the dad clocked into the gym 4 minutes after the bus should have picked up his son, even though the gym was 10 minutes away. When I rode a bus we had to be there 10-15 minutes early to not miss the bus. It didn't always come at the same time. Furthermore, if the kid ran away to commit suicide, he may very well have left earlier than he usually would take the bus. Kudos to the dad for trying to help his son break a habit of excessive internet use and pornography. I've read several articles written by Utah news agencies that state there is a huge correlation between teen suicide and electronics in their bedroom.

  • Kenngo1969 , 00
    May 17, 2019 11:20 a.m.


    Perhaps your criticism is well-founded. Certainly, it can be argued how much law enforcement should focus on grieving family members. (And since different people grieve differently and every family dynamic is different, it can be argued what family members' actions in the aftermath of something like this actually prove.)

    To this day, notwithstanding the all-but-definitive proof of Brian David Mitchell's and Wanda Barzee's criminal responsibility in Elizabeth Smart's abduction and related crimes, certain rabid conspiracy-mongers question the official account in Elizabeth's disappearance. Not even a detailed, signed, sworn confession of the perpetrators would satisfy them.

    That said, whatever exceptions may exist (and however many there may be), there's a reason for the old saying in law enforcement: Before you look for outlaws, make sure you look at in-laws.

  • Tommy Webb Provo, UT
    May 17, 2019 11:17 a.m.

    I went to High School with Macin, he would've graduated with me and my friends. My friend and I sat with him at lunch regularly tha first month of school before he went missing. Our high school was devastated about the news. My friend and I organised a fundraiser that raised $10,000 for Red Rock Search and Rescue, the school held a vigil for him, the outpouring of support was incredible. Through all of that, the Smith Family handled the situation with grace and dignity. I'm sickened to read this. The Smith's are honest, moral, upstanding people. I still think about Macin regularly. I hope that someday the Smith's, Desert Hills High School community, and anyone else affected will get closure and truth will prevail.

  • NeifyT Salt Lake City, UT
    May 17, 2019 11:13 a.m.

    And continuing on down.

    “neither Tracey nor Darrin has ever called me to check on the status of the case since Macin was initially listed as a runaway on 9/1/2015. Over the last year, I have also not heard from any of Macin’s siblings regarding the search or status of Macin’s case.”

    Given that (previously identified in the article); the evidence suggested the "run away" also committed suicide (and was a known suicide risk); why would the parents call the police a year later asking for an update? Again, the police are making presumptions of guilt and not looking at things rationally. Rationally speaking the parents wouldn't presume the cops would have any update; unless a body is found... and then one would hope that the cops would contact the family immediately. Thus the parents would have no reason to ever contact the cops.

    That doesn't mean the parents are guilty of anything; they are just being realistic given the circumstances. The cops are clearly guilty of prejudice though!

  • NeifyT Salt Lake City, UT
    May 17, 2019 11:07 a.m.

    Still not through the whole article but the more I read the angrier I get.

    Obviously the cops were not following all the leads like they claim. They were focused on the parents' so called "discrepancies" -- which aren't discrepancies at all; but the cops way of spinning facts; they are worse than journalists.

    For instance, they claim that there was a time discrepancy between when the son was supposed to be picked up by a bus; and the time the father went to the gym. No discrepancy at all; the child may have gone out early (when I was in school I had to be to the bus stop 15 minutes early if I wanted to catch the bus--the driver would often come very early).

    The statement that the parents didn't "see" the teen is also not a discrepancy. They "thought" they "heard" the son in the kitchen; after having called to him to wake up for school and going back to bed. Quite possible that the teen did leave in the night and they imagined what they expected.

    When cops begin to "spin" the events for the sole purpose of getting a warrant to track an individual... that is when they become prejudiced. Not searching for the teen but presuming guilt and only looking for evidence of guilt.

  • NeifyT Salt Lake City, UT
    May 17, 2019 10:49 a.m.

    Didn't get through this whole article before having to comment. The mother stated:

    "The sooner they would investigate us, the sooner they could move on and hopefully find a trail to where Macin is."

    The problem I have with that is... that police; once they pre-judge someone; they never just move on; even when it is 100% clear innocence; they tend to still presume guilt and will only keep searching until they find something that makes it appear as the parents are guilty.

    The police should never "focus" on anyone that there isn't evidence committed a crime.

    Investigating ALL leads (including the parents) is fine... so long as they do not "focus" on someone based on a presumed level of guilt... unfortunately from the start of this article it appears the cops are only focused on the parents; and presume the parents are guilty rather than actually following all leads.

  • zipadeedoodah Lehi, UT
    May 17, 2019 10:03 a.m.

    Leave the poor parents alone. Not everyone handles a horrendous thing as this in the same way. The parents sound credible to me and the father even took a polygraph at his own offering. And the son has suicide notes in his own handwriting. Why keep badgering and shaming these unfortunate parents. Parents separate from traumas like this and when law enforcement add to it by accusations and insinuations, it is all the more likely their marriage will be affected.

    Let the parents have some peace.