Family of Reginald Smith, presumed drowned in Saginaw River, doubts story

Published: May. 17, 2019 at 7:33 PM EDT
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(5/17/2019) - The story doesn't add up. That's the reaction of the family of a missing fisherman in Saginaw.

Reginald Smith is believed to a have jumped into the Saginaw River back in February 2017 after the boat he and his friend were on stalled. His body hasn't been found and his family still has questions about what happened that night.

"This has been horrible. I feel like I am walking in the Twilight Zone. I don't know where I am walking," said Regina Smith-Johnson, talking about what the last 27 months have been like since her son disappeared.

Reggie Smith's body has not been found. His family, including his mom, Uncle Virgil, sister Sonda, grandmother Lessie and stepfather Willie have had doubts ever since they heard Smith supposedly jumped from the boat.

"I don't even think he was on the boat that day," Regina said. "He's a critical thinker. He's a smart guy. He's been fishing since he was 4 years old and he's a swimmer, thinks fast and I will give you one of his quotes: 'Mom, it's always about chess, not checkers.'"

Virgil said the family has been unable to make sense of what Reggie's friend told police happened that night. They have had little contact with Reggie's friend who was on the boat with him.

Saginaw County Sheriff Bill Federspiel said at this point they don't believe foul play was involved, but he added that someone in that area of the river did report hearing sounds of a possible assault taking place.

Smith was living in his grandmother's home for a few months as we was estranged from his wife.

"We have no closure," Virgil said. "I mean, since there has never been a body, we have never had a memorial or anything. It's almost like this tragic thing happened and everyone has gone on with their lives."

The friend Reggie was with that night could not be reached for comment. Federspiel said he understands how the family feels and the case continues to be investigated.

"I just need to know what happened to my son," Regina said.

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