SBI, police find skeletal remains believed to be North Carolina man 24 years after disappearance

North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation

BOILING SPRING LAKES, N.C. — It’s been 24 years since Timothy Jason Smart disappeared, but SBI agents have finally found his skeletal remains.

Police in Boiling Spring Lakes, North Carolina, launched an investigation after Smart disappeared in 1995. Eventually, however, the case ran cold.

About two decades later, TV news station WWAY reported on the unsolved case on May 2018, inspiring an anonymous caller to contact SBI with a new tip and Special agents with SBI’s Coastal District and Boiling Spring Lakes police to reopen the investigation.

Bryan O’Daniels was arrested on July 1 and charged with murder, but it would still be a few months until the body was recovered.

Agents and officers spent months questioning witnesses before finding the skeletal remains believed to be Smart on Tuesday.

North Carolina Forest Service helped officials recover the buried remains from a wooded area off of West Boiling Spring Road in Boiling Spring Lakes.

The medical examiner still needs to confirm the identity and cause of death.

“Sometimes the wheels of justice turn slowly,” said Kellie Hodges, SBI assistant special agent in charge. “This case is an example of what happens when agencies utilize all of their resources to collaborate. Everyone whose worked on this case, past and present, is thankful to be able to bring closure to Tim’s family and friends after all these years.”

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