Contributed photos/Grant County Sheriff’s Office
The Grant County Sheriff’s Office reports that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Oregon State Police are assisting in the investigation of a couple who went missing following a fire in the Laycock Creek area July 17-18.
Terry and Sharon Smith, the owners of a home on Nan’s Rock Road that burned to the ground in the fire, are still missing, as is their silver or light gray 2006 Toyota Tacoma with Oregon license 714EGG, Sheriff Glenn Palmer said in an Aug. 2 press release.
“The sheriff’s office and FBI have made some contacts in this case and conducted numerous interviews,” Palmer said. “Due to the fact this case is criminal in nature, those findings cannot be shared publicly.”
Two cadaver dogs from the Crook County Sheriff’s Office searched the scene following the fire with negative results, Palmer said.
“Information from family, friends, neighbors and the public continues to come in, and we are appreciative of the response we have received during the inception of this case,” Palmer said. “It has actually been overwhelming at times. Without information and people willing to talk to us, the investigation would not be where it is today. Even though information we have is circumstantial at this point and the Smiths are still missing, we are taking this case seriously and treating it as a crime.”
Family and friends told the Eagle about the social nature of Terry and Sharon Smith and how unusual it would be for them to disappear for any length of time without communicating with their friends and family.
Cathy Hinshaw, Sharon’s sister who lives in Hawaii, told the Eagle she spoke to Sharon the evening of the fire, and Sharon had told her they were headed to bed. She said the Smiths’ disappearance is very unusual and could suggest foul play.
Hinshaw also said the Smiths sometimes let people stay on the 80-100 acre property on Nan’s Rock Road they bought in the mid-1990s, but the man who served as a caretaker for the property was gone at the time of the fire.