OLYMPIA, Wash. - The search for a missing Kitsap County woman and her 8-year-old son grows more confusing as new clues surface of their mysterious disappearance over the weekend.
Police have spent the past two days looking for Shantina Smiley, 29, of Silverdale, and her son, Azriel.Both were en route on a road trip to see family in Castle Rock when they disappeared.
Thurston County sheriff's deputies were able to putpiece togethera timeline of the two's whereabouts andtheir strange path off I-5 into Olympia before they vanished, but there's still no trace of the two.
Smiley had borrowed her fiancee's minivan for the Saturday trip. She reportedlycalled her fiancee late Saturday night saying she was lost in Olympia; no one has heard from her since. Late Sunday morning the abandoned minivanwas found partially submerged in Budd Inlet in Olympia.
According to Thurston County, the two went to the Handy Pantry market in West Olympia around 7:50 p.m. Around 9 p.m. they were seen at the Martin Way Diner about 3 miles away.
An employeethere saidSmiley bought a corn dog, then left without her purchase and then tripped and fell walking back to her van, but police said the fall was not serious.
Surveillance video showed their van pulling into the parking lot of the Gulf Harbor Mercantile store shortly before 10 p.m. Smiley may have wanted to use the pay phone there, but it is out of order. The video does not show her or her son getting out of the vehicle. The van pulled out of the parking lot and headed the direction it came from.
About 10 minutes later, Dennis Williams said the two knocked on the front door of his home about a mile from the store.
She seemed upset because she was lost, said Williams.
Williams said Smiley used the phone to tell a relative they were lost and going to be late. Hesaid the mother and son did not seem to be in trouble. If anything, said Williams, the boy seemed hungry.
We gave him a piece of pizza, said Williams.
She was not injured but spoke of an accident, which investigators believe may have been a reference to falling down at the diner.
I wish there was something more I could've done. I wish I knew more, or asked the right questions to be able to say this is a person who's in trouble, said Williams.
The van was foundSunday morning, down a dead end dirt road north of Olympia. It was at the bottom of a hill, in the water.The back hatch and side door were both open. No one was inside.
We have no idea what happened, said Thurston County Sheriff's Lt. Chris Mealy. She could have been the victim of a crime, she could have wandered off.
Neither Smiley nor her sonwould have had any reason to come to the area. Search and rescue crewssearched the shoreline and scoured the nearby wooded terrain looking for clues, but found nothing of importance.
On Monday, Shantina's fiancee, Robert Simmons,came back to where the van was found, where searchers spent the day with dogsand witha Coast Guard helicopter and the Thurston County dive team looking for any clue.
I have to keep a positive light in my heart she's out here somewhere, he said.
Police say Smiley has no history of mental illness or drug use and there's nothing to suggest she would run away.
Shantina's ex-husband, Jerry, says he's shocked by the turn of events.
It's strange, not something she would do, he said.
Jerry and Shantina were high-school sweethearts in Castle Rock, and got married. Although long divorced, they've kept in touch. He says there is nothing in her personality that would explain her disappearance. In fact, he's worried something bad has happened to her and her son.
It's crazy if someone has done something to her. Iwant her to come home. Iwant that happy ending like everyone else, he said.
Police say sheShantina is5-foot-9,140 pounds, with dark hair. Simmons says she has numerous tattoos, including one on her neck, and both wrists. She also had a couple oflightning bolts on her back.
Azriel is 4-foot-2, 100 pounds, with a blond mohawk.
The Sheriff s Office is asking for the public s help with any information on Shantina and her son. Contact the Sheriff s Office at 360-786-5530 or 5500.