Home » Alisha Smiley, 3: Last Seen In Atlanta, Sitting On A Bench In 1985
There are many parents and guardians who can share testimony about taking their eyes off of their children for but a brief moment and when they look back, the child has disappeared. Most of the time, these stories result in a frantic adult finding the missing child, whether they’re wandering in a department store or straying further than a playground boundary. However, for the family of Alisha Smiley, they continue to seek answers in this decades-old mystery.
It was about 1:45 p.m. on June 6, 1985, when three-year-old Alisha Smiley was out shopping with her aunt, Estella Evans, and Alisha’s four-year-old cousin, Andrew. Estella and her husband had often cared for Alisha since the little girl was born in Birmingham, Alabama, and took her in, on and off, because Alisha’s parents weren’t able to provide for her as college students. By this time, Alisha had been living with Estella for about seven or eight months.
That day, Alisha was last seen sitting on a bench outside of the Omni International Hotel on Techwood Drive. Estella left the two children unattended briefly as she purchased wrestling tickets nearby. When she returned, Alisha was gone. It was initially suspected that she may have walked to a nearby McDonald’s restaurant because she reportedly loved hamburgers, a treat that she called “hamberries.” Yet, an extensive search of the area didn’t turn up any evidence related to Alisha’s disappearance.
There were, however, employees of the Omni Hotel who told authorities that they saw Alisha Smiley not long after she was seen sitting on the bench. The young girl, described as being extremely friendly and trusting, reportedly asked them for a cookie and where to find a restroom. She has never been seen or heard from again, and authorities believe she was kidnapped by a stranger. According to reports, Alisha’s family told investigators that if a stranger spoke with her or tried to lead her astray, she would most likely go with them.
A tip came in to police stating that Alisha was taken to the Lakewood fairgrounds, but a search did not turn up any evidence to substantiate the claim.
At the time of her disappearance, Alisha Smiley stood 3 feet tall and weighed 30 pounds. She had black/dark brown hair (braided and tied with lilac-colored ribbons) and brown eyes. Her ears were pierced and she had a gap between her lower front teeth. Alisha was last seen wearing a red and white checkered sundress, white sandals with silver buttons, and gold earrings. She was said to have loved singing when she woke up in the morning and playing with dolls. Alisha was baptized at the Emmanuel Luthern Church.
Anyone with information about this case is urged to contact the Atlanta Police Department Missing Persons Unit at 404-853-3434 or their local authorities. You may remain anonymous. The agency case number is 506F9739.
Please share this story about Alisha Smiley to help reignite the investigation into her disappearance. She is our sister and her life matters.
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