Five months after her disappearance, a father and son hiking near Asheville, North Carolina, discovered a grisly scene (via Unsolved Mysteries). Per Case Remains, they had stumbled upon skeletal remains of a woman who medical examiners believed had been stabbed to death. An ER doctor, who had read the story about the bone’s discovery and had seen one of Jeff’s fliers, sent the article to Philadelphia police. Dental records later confirmed that the remains belonged to 50-year-old Judy Smith.
True Crime Society writes that a blue backpack and pair of sunglasses found near her did not belong to her. This left investigators with more questions than answers. Why was Smith hundred of miles away from where she was last seen, and most importantly, who had killed her and why? As money and her wedding ring were found with her, it was determined that robbery was not the motive for the murder.
According to Unsolved Mysteries Wiki, some believe Smith left Philadelphia voluntarily. Although she had been to North Carolina twice before, she had never been in the area she was found in. Several witnesses had seen her around Asheville and didn’t sense that anything was amiss. Jeff was never a suspect in his wife’s murder, and died in 2005. Police, however, do believe that the backpack and sunglasses found alongside Smith belong to her killer. As of 2022, the case remains unsolved.