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Who Killed Bryan Smith? New Details On The 1994 Unsolved Murder Of The North Carolina Teenager

Photo: WECT
Who Killed Bryan Smith? New Details On The 1994 Unsolved Murder Of The North Carolina Teenager

He was found with his throat slashed in 1994, but his murder remains unsolved more than 20 years later. Who is Bryan Smith?

There is no greater nightmare for a parent than finding his/her child murdered in cold blood. But that’s the reality for Lou Smith, whose son, Bryan, was killed in 1994.

Despite the fact countless advances in DNA technology — and improved methods of investigation — have abounded since 1994, there have been no leads in the Bryan Smith unsolved murder, and the family doesn’t even know where to begin to find a lead, let alone a “break” in the case.

Let’s look at what we know about the Bryan Smith unsolved murder.

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1. He was last seen at The Ice House bar.

Bryan Smith was last seen at a bar in North Carolina, where he was hanging out with some friends. 

According to the National Organization of Parents of Murdered Children, Bryan Smith was last seen alive on Sunday, May 1, 1994, at approximately 8:30 pm. At that time, he left with a friend to go to a bar called The Ice House, which is in downtown Wilmington, N.C. He was reportedly partying with friends until the early hours of the morning. A later report suggested that he was also seen alive around 11:00 a.m. on Monday, May 2, 1994, though this report is unconfirmed.

2. Was he held up by his so-called “friends”?

According to WWAY-TV, there was a disturbing detail that was left out of the initial report. The National Organization of Parents of Murdered Children reports that, according to the unconfirmed report of Bryan’s last sighting, he was seen at a lakeside with four other people. Witnesses said that they saw him “with his hands in the air,” and that was the last time he was seen alive.

WWAY-TV also reports that, according to Bryan’s twin brother, whom he lived with at the time, he had a “strange feeling” when Bryan didn’t come home that night.

“He said, ‘Mom. I feel like Bryan didn’t come home last night. I feel like something is wrong,'” Lou Smith says her son said.

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3. Could it have been British soldiers?

There’s another disturbing element of the crime against Bryan Smith that WWAY-TV has pointed out: there were a few British soldiers visiting the area who were seen around Bryan before he was killed. Is it possible that these soldiers were responsible for the unsolved murder of Bryan Smith?

“Captain Phil Perry with the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office said Bryan was out in downtown Wilmington the night before with friends. “They went to a place down on Front Street called the Ice House,” Perry said. Perry said Bryan met up with some other friends there. “As well as some British soldiers that were on a naval ship from Britain visiting Wilmington at the time,” Perry said. He said the group eventually left the Ice House,” reports the outlet.

4. His mother has said she will not give up until she gets all the answers she needs.

Bryan Smith's murder remains unsolved, but his mother is "not giving up."

Even though there have been no leads on Bryan Smith’s unsolved murder in more than 20 years, Lou Smith told CBS17 that she will “never give up” on getting justice for her son.

“I’ll never give up. Never. Until my last day on this earth,” she said to the outlet. “Someone knows something, and I just feel I could not live knowing that I had taken someone’s life and not come forward. And they need to, any answers they may have may be the key to solving this case and I urge them to come forward.”

Anyone with any information on the unsolved murder of Bryan Smith is invited to call the Brunswick County Sherriff’s Office in North Carolina.

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Bernadette Giacomazzo is an editor, writer, and photographer whose work has appeared in People, Teen Vogue, Us Weekly, The Source, XXL, HipHopDX, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, and more. She is also the author of The Uprising series. Find her online at www.bernadettegiacomazzo.com and www.longlivetheuprising.com.