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On April 15, he told the family that they had just missed this woman, but they were unable to locate her in the vicinity. The family believed this was significant because it was the last time anyone had identified Judy based on seeing her picture. A hotel employee said she had asked later on the morning of April 10 where she could catch the bus nearby; a driver said he had picked her up at Front and South Streets early in the afternoon and may have let her off near the hotel.
She was also reportedly seen entering and leaving the city's Greyhound bus terminal, possibly to use the bathroom, her family believes. The terminal is near Philadelphia's Chinatown , and since Judy loved Chinese and Thai food she might have gone there to eat; however, no one at any of the many restaurants in the neighborhood recalled her.
A salesperson and customer at Macy's gave an account of the actions of a woman there who may have been Judy, saying she had said she was shopping for her daughter even though her daughter often disliked what she bought her—which rang true to her family—and giving a description that included the distinctive red backpack she carried almost everywhere, especially when traveling. As the woman left, they recalled, she had tried to get a younger woman, whom they assumed at the time was the woman's daughter, to leave with her.
Jeffrey Smith finds another report from Philadelphia "more credible. Later he saw a newspaper article on the case and realized the woman looked a lot like Judy. Jeffrey hired two other private investigators to look for his wife, and faxed and mailed copies of his wife's missing person flier to hospitals all over the country, asking them to look for her. Eventually those efforts helped locate her before the end of the year. However, she was not alive. On September 7, , a father and son hunting for deer out of season on a hillside in an area of North Carolina 's Pisgah National Forest found what appeared to be human bones near the Stoney Fork picnic area  along Chestnut Creek, just 9.
At the center was a shallow grave where the majority of the skeleton remained, still partially buried and clothed. Some personal effects were found in the area as well. The state medical examiner determined that the bones of the then unidentified decedent were those of a white woman between the ages of 40 and She had had extensive dental work and suffered from severe arthritis in her left knee. There were cutting marks on her ribs, and among the clothing recovered from the scene was her bra, which also had cuts and punctures. The investigation concluded that she been fatally stabbed, and her death was officially classified as a homicide.
The remains did not remain unidentified for long. He connected it to one of the fliers Jeffrey had sent out, and faxed a copy of the article to the Philadelphia police. A detective there asked Jeffrey for his wife's dental records , which he provided; they were then sent to the medical examiner in Asheville. The records matched the dental work on the bones discovered earlier in the month, and by the end of September the remains were positively identified as those of Judy Smith.
While the discovery of Judy's remains ended the missing person investigation, the homicide investigation it started posed new questions for detectives with the Buncombe County Sheriff's Office, which took the lead role. In order to identify her killer, they would probably need to figure out how she got to North Carolina in the first place.
The evidence found with her bones suggested that she had been with someone else, possibly whoever killed her, and that she had been alive when she reached the Asheville area. Most significantly, her leg bones were still clad in jeans, thermal underwear , and hiking boots. These were not the clothes she was wearing when Jeffrey or any of the other witnesses who might have seen her in Philadelphia saw her, but they were what she might have worn while hiking in the mountains around Asheville in mid-April. No wallet or other identification was found in her pockets. However, her red backpack was not found, nor other clothes she was wearing when last seen.
Judy's family could not imagine why she might have gone to the Asheville area. According to them, she never expressed any desire to go there, and had only twice been to that general region of the country. Once she had visited Jeffrey for a week when he was at a weight loss clinic in Raleigh—Durham ; on another occasion she had accompanied a patient on a drive south as he visited family that either lived closer in North Carolina to Asheville or in a neighboring area of Virginia or Tennessee the family's memories differ.
Several people in the Asheville area recalled having seen Judy, or a woman matching her description, in April.
A clerk at a local retailer said: "She seemed very alert to me. She was very pleasant. I didn't see anything about her that would indicate that she wasn't right in any way".arropersback.cf
The woman she talked to said her husband was an attorney from Boston, attending a conference in Philadelphia, and during that time she had just decided to go to the Asheville area. An employee at the Biltmore Estate also recalls seeing Judy. At a campground near where her body was found, the owner recalls that she drove up in a gray sedan filled with boxes and bags, asked if she could spend the night there in her car, and drove away after learning she could not.
Local investigators consider these sightings credible. Investigators with the Buncombe County sheriff's office have ruled out Jeffrey Smith, who died in ,  as a suspect, since as he was morbidly obese they believe he would have been physically unable to have taken his wife's body up the slope to where it was found.
His presence at the conference during the day Judy disappeared has also been corroborated. The Philadelphia police, however, never completely eliminated him as a suspect. Sam Constance, the Buncombe detective who investigated the case, believes Judy was not abducted and came to the Asheville area voluntarily.
Eldridge House Disappearances eBook by Napoleon Crews Kobo Edition | tranbachondnebunk.gq
He wanted to determine how and why in when interviewed. Constance also did not believe Judy was killed elsewhere and dumped at the site, due to the distance anyone, even someone in the best physical condition, would have had to carry her body to dispose of it there. Judy may even have planned to disappear for a while, or perhaps even permanently.
While Jeffrey and her children did not say there had been any problems in the marriage, one of her friends said otherwise. Although some of Judy's jewelry was missing, the presence of most of it and the cash suggests that robbery was not a motive for the killing. It has also been suggested that she might have encountered a local serial killer who had less than a year earlier left the raped and murdered body of one of his victims tied to a tree not far away.
However, that killer, Gary Michael Hilton, was later arrested and convicted of that crime as well as several other killings on hiking trails in national forests in the southern Appalachian Mountains during the s, and has not been linked to Smith's killing. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Judy Smith homicide Picture of Judy Smith and her red backpack distributed after her disappearance. Retrieved August 31, Philadelphia City Paper.
The Boston Globe. Retrieved September 1, — via legacy. Unsolved Mysteries. Retrieved September 1, Hunt OKs reward for case". Asheville Citizen-Times. Retrieved September 3, — via newspapers. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. Eldridge soon quit the lumber industry and began teaching at Sehome School while continuing his mining ventures. After exploring a career in mining Eldridge became the first legislator ever elected from Whatcom County to the House of Territorial legislature. Eldridge continued to be a distinguished political figure in Bellingham until he died from Paresis in at the age of 63, shortly after his return as a delegate to the National Republican Convention.
The first home of the Eldridge family burned down in Their second home built in , the Eldridge Mansion known as the finest home on Puget Sound and featured in the archived photograph, also burned down from a forest fire in After each fire the Eldridge family took up temporary abode in one of the outbuildings on their property.
Stanley Piper, the same architect who designed the Bellingham National Bank Building also on the Historic Registry, constructed the current structure in for Bellingham's postmaster Hugh Eldridge.
Inspired by styles from the Normandy region of France, Piper and Hugh Eldridge selected to design the mansion in the form known as French Chateauesque. Embedded in the pavement of the driveway's entrance are the Chinook Indian words "Nesika Illihe", meaning welcome to "Our Land", in 3" brass letters. The long and gracious driveway leads to the front entrance and a three-car garage beside the main house.
The exterior was constructed of concrete finished with stucco and fir was used to line the interior walls.