WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — The Winston-Salem Police Department said the remains of a person who went missing in 2006 were found over the weekend.
Dedrick Bernard Smith, 26, went missing on Oct. 4, 2006, with the last known contact being a phone conversation that happened earlier that day.
Winston-Salem police were alerted by a search and recovery dive team known as “Adventures With Purpose” that they may have found what they believed to be the 1993 Pontiac Grand Am driven by Smith at the time of his disappearance in Winston Lake.
“We discovered Dedrick Bernard Smith right here in Winston Lake 14 feet deep after sixteen years of him being missing, less than a mile away from his last known location,” said Doug Bishop, Adventures With Purpose lead investigator.
Adventures With Purpose called the police about their discovery at 7:15 p.m. on Friday, April 1.
Winston-Salem detectives and the Adventures With Purpose divers worked together to pull the Pontiac from Winston Lake at 7 a.m. on Saturday, April 2. The Pontiac was positively identified as the car that was driven by Smith at the time of his disappearance.
Members of Adventure With Purpose were at Winston Lake at the request of Smith’s family and friends to help bring closure to the cold case.
“The purpose that it encompasses you know the community through donations and our support of our social media platforms puts us in the position to do what we do, and it provides answers for families and communities,” Bishop said.
Remains were found in the vehicle, and officials confirmed the identity of the remains as Smith.
There is no evidence of foul play.
“They are extremely grateful for what we’ve been able to do, you know they’ve been living with this nightmare for sixteen years, and now they have the answers necessary to you know lay him to rest properly and begin to move forward,” Bishop concluded.
Smith’s next-of-kin has been notified of the discovery.
Police have pulled two more vehicles from the lake.
Anyone with any information about this investigation is asked to call the WSPD at (336) 773-7700, Crime Stoppers at (336) 727-2800, or En Espanol (336) 728-3904. You can also view “Crime Stoppers of Winston-Salem Forsyth County” on Facebook.