BCSO: Body of missing Crown College student has been found
Dr. Clarence Sexton, the founder of Crown College announced that the body of missing student Blake Smith has been found. In a video about Smith on the college's Facebook page, Dr. Sexton said, "His body has been found and lots of questions aren't answered."
The video did not give details of where or when the body was located, but instead asked for prayers for Smith's family.
"We love Blake. We love his family. He was a friend to so many," Dr. Sexton said in the video. Smith had been missing since late Saturday.
On Tuesday, the Blount County Sheriff's Office announced the body recovered in Georges Creek in Louisville Monday was identified as that of Blake Smith. The preliminary cause of death was determined as hypothermia/drowning, and his death appeared to be accidental, according to investigators.
Just before 3 p.m. Monday, the Blount County Sheriff's Office discovered the body in Georges Creek, close to the construction site on Ballards Way in Louisville where deputies found Smith's car. K9s and KCSO helicopters searched for Smith in Blount County. BCSO also used drones to get aerial views of the scene.
Smith was studying ministry at Crown College. His family called him a godly man and said he often preached at his home church in Trussville, Alabama.
On Monday, Local 8 News Reporter Donovan Long spoke to Blake's father, Jim Smith, who traveled from Trussville, Ala., to Knox County to search for his son.
"We are just distraught this type of thing has happened," Smith said.
Smith said his son's car, a 2014 gold Toyota Camry, was found in Blount County.
"The car was located at a construction site," Smith said. "The car was still running, door was open and no sign of our son."
The Blount County Sheriff's Office said that construction site is off Ballards Way in Louisville. BCSO added the car had crashed into a deck at the construction site, and that Smith's phone and other personal belongings were found near his car.
Blake Smith's family commented Monday that they believe foul play was involved.
"Certainly I think there was foul play going on here. This is not something that would've happened," Smith said. "The condition of the car; he loved his car. He's had it probably less than a year ... there's something going on here."
Jim Smith said he first realized something was unusual late Saturday when he used an app he uses to track his son's location to zoom in on residential location. Smith said he knew something was wrong when he woke up the next morning and saw Blake was still at the same location.
"I called his roommate in the dorm and he said he didn't make it in that night," Smith said. "At that point, I became alarmed and began making phone calls to security at Crown College."
On Wednesday, February 7, BCSO said investigators were actively working the case involving Smith, and officials were following up on all leads.