Left: Alisha circa, 1985
Right: Age Progressed to age 39
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: June 6, 1985
Missing From: Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia
Classification: Non-Family Abduction
Date Of Birth: October 7, 1981
Age: 3 years old
Height and Weight: 3’0″ and 30 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: African American Female, Black hair, Brown eyes, Alisha has a slight discoloration in the corner of her right eye and she had a gap in her bottom front teeth, her ears are both pierced
Clothing/Jewelry Description: A red and white A-line sundress with small checks, white sandals with silver buckles, Alisha was known to be wearing lilac ribbons and may have been wearing gold earrings
NCMEC Number: 601906
Details of Disappearance
Alisha Smiley was last seen in Atlanta, Georgia on June 6th 1985. She was last seen sitting on a bench outside the Omni International Hotel on Techwood Drive at approximately 2:00 pm. She was with her 4 year old cousin, Andrew, as well while her aunt, Estella Evans, went to purchase tickets for a wrestling match not too far away.
When Estella returned from a futile attempt to secure the the tickets, she found Andrew alone and Alisha was gone. A few employees at Omni reported that they last saw her asking for a cookie and about a bathroom. She has never been seen or heard from again. Extensive searches of the area turned up no trace of her. It’s possible she may have walked to a nearby McDonalds restaurant while unattended by her aunt. She loved hamburgers and was determined to get one.
Alisha was very trusting and liked everyone. Her family has stated that if she was urged by a stranger to accompany them, she would likely do so. Nothing has ever been located to suggest what happened to her but investigators believe she was abducted by a non-family member. Some witnesses reported seeing Alisha walking behind two women.
It’s unclear if this lead was resolved or not but police at the time speculated the women might’ve taken the girl and were attempting to return her or her family. They urged anyone who might’ve had her to contact them.
Many searches were undertaken and various places such as desolate rail yards were looked at. On June 11th 1985, police searched the ground behind A.D. Williams High School in northwest Atlanta for clues about Alisha’s disappearance. They had received an anonymous tip indicating her body would be found behind the school but the search was futile and no evidence was found regarding the case.
There was once a tip that Alisha was taken to the Lakewood fairgrounds soon after her disappearance but the area was searched by volunteers and police. No evidence was found at the scene and police wondered whether it was a prank or not:
At the time of her disappearance, Alisha was described as a nice and trusting toddler who loved to sing when she woke up in the morning. She loved hamburgers which she referred to as “hamberries” and playing with dolls, especially styling their hair. She was baptized at the Emmanuel Lutheran Church which raised a reward fund for her safe return after her abduction.
At the time of her disappearance, Alisha resided in the Ben Hill area with Estella and her uncle, James, who was a truck driver, and three cousins aged between 4 and 15 years old. When Alisha was born, her parents were struggling to get through college and were not able to financially support her. She was born in Birmingham, Alabama.
She had been living with them for approximately eight months and had arrived at their home just before Christmas of 1984. Her disappearance remains unsolved.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Atlanta Police Department 404-853-3434