On September 7, 1997, two off-season hunters operating in Pisgah National Forest stumble across several scattered items and human bones near a hiker campground. The remains found in a shallow grave were identified as 50-year-old nurse Judy Smith. Judy was last seen alive attending a pharmaceutical conference in Philadelphia by her husband, Jeffrey Smith.
The obvious first question anyone asks about the Judy Smith homicide case is how she ended up in the Asheville mountains when she was supposed to be in PA with her husband. Before Judy’s remains were found police assumed it involved her newly wedded husband and prominent Boston attorney.
Detectives surmised that Jeffrey Smith could not kill his wife alone, but would need the help of a hitman, further solidifying his alibi.
“The skeleton still had on long, insulated underwear, blue jeans and hiking boots,” Buncombe County Sheriff Bobby Medford told reporters at the time. “There was nothing in the pockets. No wallet. No identification at all.”
However, none of Judy Smith’s family believe that Jeffrey had anything to do with her disappearance and homicide. Jeffrey Smith passed away a few years after they found his wife deceased, but at the time hired two private investigators, send thousands of missing flyers, and interviewed hundreds of people who may have seen Judy.