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Police In Va. Searching For Person Of Interest In Md. In Connection To Murder Of Transgender Teen

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WJZ) -- Police in Charlottesville, Virginia, are searching for a person of interest in the murder of transgender teenager Sage Smith in 2012.

Police believe that Erik McFadden may be hiding out in Baltimore or Joppa.

Smith was 19-years-old when she vanished in 2012. She was last seen on Main Street in Charlottesville, Virginia. Police believe she was meeting McFadden.

This week, police officially listed McFadden as missing. They said he is a person of interest in Smith's killing, and he has not been seen since failing to show up to answer detective's questions shortly after the killing.

"This is a loss that is different from other losses," Eanna Langston, Smith's sister, said. "There is no closure. It's like you can't finish grieving. It's a continuous unfixed feeling that hits me at unpredictable times."

The month she vanished, Smith officially changed her gender on Facebook.

In a statement read by the lead detective investigating the murder, Smith's father blasted the lack of progress in the investigation.

McFadden used to live in Joppa. Authorities said he has strong ties to the Baltimore area. They are hoping now they can find him and unlock the mystery of what really happened to Smith.

According to the Human Right's Campaign, 11 transgender people have been murdered across the United States this year alone- two of them in Maryland.

Officials are asking anyone with information to call the Crime Solvers tip line at (434) 977-4000.

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