Who is LAURA?

April 23rd, 1984 - April 3rd, 1997

Laura Smither, a 12 year-old girl, was abducted on April 3, 1997, while jogging close to her home in Friendswood, Texas. Over 6,000 people took part in a massive nationwide search. Her body was found on April 20, 1997, On April 23rd she would have been 13 years old.

A letter from Laura's parents:

Dear Reader,

Laura was our daughter. She was a light in our lives and we were privileged to share her life. Thank you for taking time to read who she was and what she meant to the people who knew and loved her.

Laura was 12 years old when she was ripped from our lives. She had been counting down the days till her 13th birthday for 87 days, and changed her message board that morning to read: "Only 20 days 'til my birthday! She was really excited about becoming a teenager.

Laura had an extremely high IQ and was in the gifted and talented program. She had aspirations of attending Stanford University. And Laura lived to dance. She was a ballerina, studying at the Houston Ballet Academy. She had danced in a production of "The Nutcracker" every year since she was 8. She just loved to perform. Ballet was her life and her joy.

She was also a certified scuba diver, and had just begun learning to play tennis. She was a Cadette Girl Scout working on her Silver Award and already thinking about a project for her Gold Award, the Girl Scout equivalent to Boy Scouting's Eagle Scout. And she was the Houston Rockets basketball team's biggest fan! She slept in the 6th Man T-shirt. Laura had a great sense of humor and would joke about being the first woman in the NBA, without ever playing basketball! She didn't live long enough to celebrate the Houston Comets, of whom she would have been so proud.

She loved to travel. World history and politics fascinated her. She was the sweetest child. Gentle, considerate, loyal - the greatest friend anyone could have. Everyone who knew Laura, loved her. She was touched by light and brought joy to everyone who met her.

On April 3rd, 1997 Laura was abducted from our home in a stereotypical non-family abduction. She was missing for 17 days. Our community was astounding, supporting our family in a massive nationwide search to find Laura. We were devastated when her remains were recovered on April 20th. The medical examiners office ruled her death a homicide.

Laura's murderer has never been held accountable and no charge has ever been made in her case.

Laura's family begs the person or persons responsible for Laura's murder to do the right thing and be accountable to law enforcement.

We pray for Justice for Laura.

Thank you for remembering Laura.
Bob and Gay Smither