Mississippi Family Vanishes After Car Wreck: 'We Have No Idea Where These People Are'By ALEXIS SHAW | Good Morning America – 3 hours ago
Authorities are searching for a Mississippi family who vanished without a trace after a car accident over the weekend.
Although the family's abandoned, overturned SUV was found upside down
in a ditch in Hermanville, Miss., Saturday morning, Copiah County
Sheriff Harold Jones told ABCNews.com that the family was nowhere to be
Atira Hill, 30, her 7-year-old son, Jaidon, and her husband, Laterry
Smith, 34, were last seen driving in their car on Friday, the National
Center for Missing and Exploited Children said in a statement.
Copiah County sheriff's deputies received a call about a car on fire
in a rural area at approximately 7:10 a.m. Saturday, Jones said.
When they arrived on the scene, they found a smoldering, tan Dodge
SUV turned over in a ditch off the side of a road where there appeared
to have been an accident.
"The car was smoking with nobody around it," Jones said. "The sunroof
was broken because [the car] was lying on its top and the left front
fender had been damaged."
Initially, law enforcement officials believed the owners possibly set
the SUV on fire so they wouldn't have to make car payments, Jones said.
"A lot of times people, when they want to do away with their
vehicles, take them to the western part of Copiah County and set them on
fire," he said. "This was not the case."
Investigators ran the plates on the car and learned who it was registered to and then called the family's relatives.
"We found out there were supposed to be three people in this
vehicle," Jones said, but he declined to comment further on what he
learned from family members.
Officials searched the wooded area around the car as well as local
hospitals, but there have been no signs of the boy, his mother and
"We have no idea where these people are," he said. "We have some people we need to talk to, but we can't find them."
Jones declined to comment on who investigators were hoping to speak with, but said they were continuing to follow any leads.
A spokeswoman from the FBI's Jackson Division, which is assisting in the investigation, declined to comment to ABC News.
According to her Facebook page, Atira Hill works as a nursing
assistant at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.
Matt Westerfield, a spokesman for the hospital, told ABCNews.com that
an Atira Hill-Smith worked at the hospital. She did not show up for
work today, he said.
She is not a patient at the hospital, Westerfield said.
Jaidon Hill is 3 feet tall and weighs 44 pounds and has black hair
and brown eyes. Atira Hill is 5 feet tall, weighs 148 pounds and has
brown hair and brown eyes. Laterry Smith is 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighs
180 pounds and has black hair and brown eyes, according to the National
Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Anyone with information about their whereabouts should contact the Copiah County Sheriff's Department.
ABC News' attempts to contact Hill and Smith's family members were not immediately successful.