AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) – It has been three years since an Aiken County man went missing. Chandler Smith’s family learned months after he disappeared that investigators believe he was killed, but there is still no body. They hope the public will shed light on what happened after he was last seen.
“We’re serving a life sentence. And me, it’s like a death sentence,” said Tabitha Smith, Chandler’s mother.
The days and months quickly turned to year three since Tabitha Smith’s son Chandler went missing.
The 22-year-old disappeared October 22, 2020 after video at the Aiken County Detention Center captured Chandler choosing not to take a taxi and instead being forced into a red Mitsubishi sedan with three men.
Smith said of her son’s encounter that day, “A gentleman put their hand on him as he was getting into a cab, and they exchanged words or whatever. Chandler ducked his head in, told the cab driver that he didn’t need a ride anymore.”
The car was seen leaving the jail on Wire Road.
More on Chandler Smith:
- 12/06/2020 – Aiken County family wants answers in search for man missing since October
- 12/18/2020 – Family celebrates missing man’s birthday
- 03/04/2021 – Missing Aiken County man case, now a murder investigation
- 10/23/2021 – Family remembers man kidnapped, killed in Aiken County
But loved ones tell NewsChannel 6 Chandler has never left their hearts.
“I got a tattoo on my face. It says LLC for Long Live Chandler. I got it on the right side of my face because he was always on the right side of me,” Tracy Chandler said.
Chandler’s younger brother, Tracy keeps his memories close. And wants people to know the type of man someone took away from the family.
“If I was down, he was the one who always picked me up, no matter what,” he said.
“The funny thing is with Chandler, at a very, very early age with Chandler I’ve always felt something was going to happen to him and I always needed to keep him close,” his mother explained.
Just five months into the disappearance, investigators believed Chandler, who would be 25 years old now, was kidnapped at the jail, and shot and killed on Tundra Trail in Aiken County. Three men were charged with murder back then, but investigators said they believe the suspects fled to Mexico to avoid arrest. Three years later there’s no body and no justice.
“Do what’s right,” his brother pleaded. “If it was their brother, their son, their grandson, they would want somebody to do the same for them, you know.”
The Aiken County Sheriff’s Office told us there are no new updates in this case and the investigation is on going.