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Cindy Lee Smith

Missing Person Case September 2021

Smith, approximately 1987

Date reported missing : 04/03/1987

Missing location (approx) :
Winter Haven, Florida
Missing classification : Endangered Missing
Gender : Female
Ethnicity :

DOB : 09/15/1960 (60)
Age at the time of disappearance: 26 years old
Height / Weight : 5'1, 102 pounds
Distinguishing characteristics, birthmarks, tattoos : Caucasian female. Brown hair, green eyes.

Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : Smith was last seen by her boyfriend, William Donald Taylor, on April 3, 1987. She and her six-year-old son from her previous marriAge at the time of disappearance: were living with Taylor in Winter Haven, Florida at the time. Smith's relatives said she told them she was going to end her relationship with Taylor and move into her parents' home with her son; however, Taylor says their relationship was good.
Smith's mother, Elsie Sparrow, reported her missing on April 6, after Smith's boss called her to ask why Smith had not arrived at work. Elsie criticized the investigation into her daughter's disappearance, she stated the sheriff's office did not bother to contact her for three weeks after she filed the missing persons report.
A month after Smith vanished, her parents heard Taylor was selling her belongings. Smith's father, Carrol Sparrow, went to Taylor's residence with another male relative and searched it, and found Smith's bloodstained mattress inside the house.
Carrol gave the mattress to police, who tested it, but only to determine the blood type, as more sophisticated forensic tests did not exist at the time. The mattress was discarded sometime in the 1990s and no samples from it were preserved.
Authorities stated Taylor's story about Smith's disappearance conflicted with other witnesses' accounts, and they considered him a person of interest in her case. He says she left with an unknown man, saying she was going to Daytona Beach, Florida, and he never saw her after that.
Smith's boss, however, stated he saw her when she left work and got into Taylor's car. Taylor died of natural causes in November 2007, however, and was never charged in Smith's case.
Smith's loved ones do not believe she would have left of her own accord and abandoned her family, especially her son. She left behind her car and her two dogs, and she never picked up her tax refund check. She was employed at a K-Mart store on Havendale Boulevard in Winter Haven at the time of her disappearance.
Curiously, Smith's four-year-old nephew, her sister's son Timothy Davison, disappeared from Decatur, Illinois in 1985 and was never found. The cases are not believed to be connected to one another.
Authorities believe foul play may have been involved in Smith's disappearance. Her son was raised by his father after she went missing. Her parents are still alive and hope for a resolution in her case. Her case remains unsolved.

Other information and links : ncy

Polk County Sheriff's Office

September 2021 updates and sources

The Doe Network
Florida Department of Law Enforcement
The Lakeland Ledger

October 12, 2004. March 26, 2010; Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : updated.

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