Marcie Smith Case Goes Unsolved A Decade Later

Posted at 10:22 PM, May 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-04 23:29:14-04

The killing of Marcie Smith has remained one of Murfreesboro's most high profile cases, and 10 years later there's still no answers.

It's a mysterious case that all began with a tearful plea.

"But if anybody knows where she is I wish they'd help us, help her, please," said Palmer Smith who was heartbroken. 

His wife Marcie is gone, but police have come to wonder if the tears were genuine.

"I don't want to get emotional. When I think about it, it bothers me," said Palmer.

Smith said he missed his wife, but investigators later questioned whether he was being completely truthful.

"It's frustrating for a prosecutor when you believe you know who did it and you can't move forward," said Trevor Lynch.

It's been ten years since Marcie Smith vanished. And Lynch, the deputy district attorney, headed up the case and said Murfreesboro police have always believed Marcie's husband Palmer was somehow involved.

"Just after this much time you have to assume she is dead," said Lynch.

Palmer Smith knew they thought he killed his wife, but he strongly denied it in an interview two years after she disappeared.

"I think I am their prime suspect. No I did not kill her and I don't know who did," said Smith.

But investigators still believed he was "somehow involved in her disappearance. The only hard piece of evidence in the case is this surveillance video from a Wal-Mart parking lot.

It shows a man pulling a bicycle from Marcie's SUV the day she disappeared and then casually riding away.
Smith told police it wasn't him, but witnesses say it was and Smith was convicted of lying to police -- serving one year in jail.

Smith has never been charged with murder.

"You have to establish venue showing a jurisdictional that a crime commenced or started or consummated," said Lynch who added that's very hard to do without a body.

Marcie Smith was declared dead, but her remains never found. There was one big potential lead revealed by Smith's lawyer the late John Norton.

He said someone sent his client a mysterious body map in the months after his wife disappeared.

"This could be a map to where Marcilene Smith's remains are presently located," said Norton back in 2007.

The map, sent in an envelope with cut-out letters, showed the supposed location of Marcie's body in west Tennessee. Police and the TBI searched, finding nothing.

They suspected, but could never prove Smith had sent the letter to himself to distract authorities.

So, ten years later, with no body and no new evidence Lynch said the case keeps getting colder.

And there's the frustration of a prime suspect who remains innocent with little chance of ever being proven guilty.

"This is just one of those cases that will stick with you through your entire career," said Lynch.

Palmer Smith served his one year in jail and is now free. The 81-year-old could not be reached for comment.