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Brett Rivkind Suggests that Jennifer Hagel-Smith was Drugged (George Allen Smith Investigation)


Brett Rivkind, the lawyer for George Allen Smith IV’s parents, is suggesting that Jennifer Hagel-Smith may have been drugged. The same night that George Allen Smith went missing, Jennifer Hagel-Smith was found in a corridor, unconscious and far from their cabin.

Brett Rivkind, the lawyer for George Allen Smith IV’s parents, said he does not have any evidence to prove his theory about why crew members found Jennifer Hagel-Smith sleeping in a corridor July 5, the night her husband disappeared on their Mediterranean honeymoon cruise between Turkey and Greece.

Rivkind said at a news conference that it has been difficult to get information about the case because Royal Caribbean has not been forthcoming. But William Wright, the cruise line’s senior vice president of marine operations, said in his own news conference that the company has cooperated with investigators, including the FBI.

Here are some of the latest allegations from the different sides in the disappearance of George Smith.

read the rest here…

January 5th, 2006 at 11:06pm Posted by | Cruise ship, George Allen Smith IV, Jennifer Hagel Smith, Missing, Missing Adult | 14 comments

New Search for Tara Grinstead in Ben Hill County

Tara Grinstead has been missing since October 22, 2005. During this time Tara grinstead 1investigators and searchers have scoured the Georgia countryside looking for the missing school teacher. The searches had concentrated on wooded areas of Ocilla and Irwin County.

Now it appears that the search is going to move to Ben Hill County. The search will begin at 8 AM Saturday, January 7 and will continue on Sunday, January 8. It will be lead by Robert Hardiman, Director of Trackers Global.

Robert Hardiman, Director of Trackers Global, a non-profit organization dedicated to the recovery of missing, abducted and runaway persons, contacted Court TV’s Crime Library about a major search effort being mounted in Ben Hill County, GA. The search will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 7 and will continue on Sunday, Jan. 8. Volunteers are asked to assemble at the Ben Hill County Senior Citizens Center at 253 Appomattox Road in Fitzgerald. The Senior Citizens Center is located just behind the Ben Hill County Sheriff’s Department.

Ben Hill County Map

Also go to

(Full story from Crime Library)

January 5th, 2006 at 07:44pm Posted by | Missing, Missing Adult, Search and Rescue, Tara Grinstead | no comments

Family of George Smith Wants Answers into his Disappearance

George Smith’s family has been searching for answers since they first heard that their son went missing. From the beginning the Smith’s state that Royal Caribbean offered very little detail.

Royal Caribbean called the Smiths that first day, but they say the representative offered few details.

“No news. Never told us about the blood in the cabin. Never told us about the blood on the overhang,” says Bree.

She says all the cruise line told them was that George Smith IV was missing and that they didn’t have any further information.

The issue of what happened to George Smith and a perceived cover up of what transpired that last evening that he went missing seem to be coming to a boiling point.

The mystery of a newlywed who vanished last July from his honeymoon cruise is heating up. As The Early Show co-anchor Hannah Storm reports, the captain of the ship said Wednesday night that George Smith IV and his wife Jennifer had been drinking heavily the night he went missing and that Jennifer was found passed out.

The Smith family says the captain’s comments are just the latest example of the cruise line trying to deflect criticism of how it handled their son’s disappearance.

Read the entire CBS-TV New York article with video interview of the Smith family.

January 5th, 2006 at 06:13pm Posted by | Cruise ship, George Allen Smith IV, Missing, Missing Adult | 3 comments

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line Statement regarding George Smith, IV

George Smith, IV disappeared July 5, 2005 while on his honeymoon with his new wife, Jennifer Hagel, aboard The Royal Caribbean Cruise Line “Brilliance of the george smithSeas”. For the most part George Smith’s family has remained relatively quiet regarding the loss of their son.

The discussions into the disappearance of George Smith have ramped up lately as well as Congressional hearings on the Cruise industry in general. Rep. Christopher Shays, R-CT has spearheaded the investigation in to not only Royal Caribbean but the cruise industry in general. The disappearance of George Smith, IV obviously being the catalyst into these hearings.

“Like small cities, cruise ships experience crime — from petty to profoundly tragic,” said Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn., chair of one of two congressional subcommittees hearing testimony Tuesday.

George Allen Smith IV vanished from a Royal Caribbean Cruises ship in the Mediterranean 10 days after his wedding last summer. His family says he was a victim of foul play covered up by the cruise line to avoid bad publicity.

Company officials say the cruise line acted properly after Smith’s disappearance.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line Statement regarding George Smith, IV

All of us at Royal Caribbean extend our deepest sympathies to Jennifer Hagel Smith and the whole Smith family. They have suffered an inconsolable loss, and it is totally understandable they want answers and some measure of closure regarding Mr. Smith’s disappearance.

As in all corporate statements like this there is always a “however”. This one is no different.

However, there has been a lot of inaccurate and unfair speculation about our company’s response to the incident, and the time has come to set the record straight.

read the rest here…

January 5th, 2006 at 02:16pm Posted by | Cruise ship, George Allen Smith IV, Missing, Missing Adult | 6 comments

12-year-old Amber Harris May Have been sighted in Council Bluffs

12-year-old Amber Harris, who has been missing since Nov. 29, 2005, may have been sighted at the Council Bluffs gas station in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day. Amber harris

A missing Omaha girl may have been spotted at a Council Bluffs gas station in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day.

Authorities received a report of a suspicious vehicle with several occupants at the Shell Speedee Mart located at 3624 Ninth Ave. around 2:30 a.m. on Sunday.

An employee informed the responding officer that a girl who resembled 12-year-old Amber Harris, who has been missing since Nov. 29, 2005, had gotten out of a brown van and was “slightly forced” back inside. Another passenger in the van came into the store and removed a missing poster of Harris from the bulletin board and took it back to the van.

Due to a lack of evidence of foul play Harris has been listed as a possible runaway.

Because of a lack of evidence of foul play, Harris has been listed as a possible runaway, according to, a missing children’s Web site. However, Harris’ parents, Michael and Melissa Harris, have said they firmly believe she has been abducted. The child is considered to be missing and endangered.

Friends and family of the missing girl are now offering a $2,000 reward for her safe return.

Anyone with information on her whereabouts and/or this case is urged to immediately contact the Omaha Police Department at (402) 444-5600.

January 5th, 2006 at 01:40am Posted by | abduction, Missing, Missing Children | one comment

Thirteen-year-old Shelby Lynn Balahoski found save in Odessa, TX

Thirteen-year-old Shelby Lynn Balahoski had been missing for a week, until she called her father in Michigan on Sunday to tell him she was in Odessa. Shelby’s father called the police as she was reported as an endangered missing person and presumed to be in the company of 47-year-old convicted sex offender Kevin Ray Slagle of Eustis. Shelby was picked up by police.

Thirteen-year-old Shelby Lynn Balahoski had been gone from home for a week, and Bartow police had said Saturday they suspected she was in the company of 47-year-old convicted sex offender Kevin Ray Slagle of Eustis.

But Sunday evening, as Shelby’s mother, Amy Balahoski, blinked back tears and turned to face television news cameras, her boyfriend rushed up to her and told her that Shelby had been found safe.

Kevin Ray Slagle had also been arrested by police and has a history of sexual assaults against children.

The teen talked to Bartow police briefly and told them she spent Monday and Tuesday with Slagle, and at some point he threatened her and made her fear for her safety, so she ran away, Warren said.

The tangled story began several months ago when Balahoski met Slagle through a mobile phone chat messaging service, according to Bartow police. Since then, unknown to her mother, she met with Slagle several times, police said.

Slagle served 12 1/2 years in prison for the attempted sexual battery of a child younger than 12, and was released in 2002, prison records show.

When will these teens learn about these chat sites? When will we learn that these sexual predators will just repeat their actions?

January 5th, 2006 at 01:27am Posted by | Found Alive, Missing, Missing Teen, sex offender | one comment

Human Remains No Match To Lubbock Missing Person Cases

Skeletal remains that were found near the Buffalo Springs Lake entrance last Thursday are determined to be no match for any missing persons cases in Lubbock, TX.

New developments in the investigation of human remains near Buffalo Springs Lake.

Lubbock Police tell NewsChannel 11 the remains do not match any of the missing adult cases in Lubbock.

The Lubbock Medical Examiners office is performing an autopsy to identify the remains and determine a cause of death.

Last week human remains were found near the rugged terrain by Buffalo Springs Lake. Investigators also found a human skull just feet away from today’s skeletal remains.

Crime scene tape marks the site on county road 835, just east of the Lake’s entrance. Friday, K-9 units from Amarillo, Texas Rangers, the DA’s office, and Lubbock Sheriff’s combed the area for clues, and their efforts have been successful.

The discovery of a human skull lead investigators to this area, where nearly 20 hours later, they found what could be the rest of the skeleton. “The body was found in proximity to where the skull had been discovered,” said Sheriff David Gutierrez.

LSO cannot speculate on the identity of the remains, but they have called the families of both missing girls, Joanna Rogers, and Jennifer Wilkerson. “We have several priority cases, the missing girls have been high all along. This is up on top and we are trying to get information as rapidly as possible,” said Sheriff Gutierrez.

January 5th, 2006 at 01:09am Posted by | autopsy, Found Deceased, Missing | no comments