Local News

Smithfield woman identified 20 years after death

Posted August 3, 2012

— A body found by railroad tracks in Virginia 20 years ago has been identified as a Smithfield woman.

The North Carolina Center for Missing Persons says DNA tests confirmed that the remains, found in December 1992, to be that of Angie Faye Toler, who was last seen alive by her family before she moved to Richmond with her boyfriend.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond said Toler, 21, died of hypothermia and that her death was ruled accidental.

The discovery was made after Nona Best, a supervisor at the North Carolina Center for Missing Persons, recognized Toler in a photo being used in a presentation at a National Missing and Unidentified Persons System training academy in November.

NAMUS is a free, public, nationwide repository of information about missing persons and unidentified decedent records.

Best, who knows the family personally, contacted Toler's sister and mother, and they submitted DNA samples that were a positive match.

Smithfield woman identified 20 years after death Smithfield woman identified 20 years after death

The family was notified Tuesday, First Sgt. Jeff Gordon, director of the North Carolina Center for Missing Persons said.

Best could not be reached for comment Friday.

Toler's mother, Delois Sherared, said she believes her daughter wanted to move home after things didn't work out with her boyfriend in Richmond.

"We were very close," Sherared said. "We knew something was going on when we hadn’t heard from her."

She went to Virginia police when she lost touch with her daughter, but she said they were not helpful.

Sherared said she accepted the fact long ago that her daughter likely wasn't alive and that she is just relieved that her death wasn't a violent act.

"I just didn't know how she died," she said. "Knowing that she wasn't murdered or molested or her throat wasn't cut or she wasn't drugged, that's a big relief – a very, very big relief."


This story is closed for comments.

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  • macy Aug 13, 2012

    This just breaks my heart - I cannot imagine what her family has been through worrying about her. I pray they find peace.

  • lcornetti2 Aug 7, 2012

    I am surprised by these comments. First, if an agency has a body with nothing to distinguish it, all it can do is create a file and essentially wait. In the days before interconnected databases there was little else to do, esp. if no foul play was involved. This wasn't investigated as a homicide bc the ME ruled it accidental. If mom did go to RPD, there would only be a missing person report at best. Not defending RPD, but this would not be high priority.Every adult has a right to go missing. It's a great commentary on the vigilance & dedication of (some)professionals and a comfort to know the family has its child back. As for those who are unable to read or comprehend the words of a clearly written article, I just wish they'd keep their ignorant comments private.Their stupidity is breathtaking.

  • dlentz2 Aug 3, 2012

    Did you read the article.....she died of hypothermia. No one knew who she was. Now they know and the family can bury her. They have closure.

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Aug 3, 2012

    Greg69 - Where's it say the body was kept on ice?

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Aug 3, 2012

    What heartache to have to wait this long, but blessed they now can bury her remains.

    I hope the authorities can find out what happened to her. That she left with a boyfriend and that he returned without her makes my suspicions rise.

  • greg69innc Aug 3, 2012

    They have had this poor woman on ice too long this is shameful to the family. RIP

  • slayerhil Aug 3, 2012

    People, just ignore Obamacare. Clearly trolling.

  • deborah59 Aug 3, 2012

    Obamacare.......What if they find out that the evidence indicates the boyfriend killed her and he is tried and found guilty by a mostly white jury ? Racism again ?

  • malonem1 Aug 3, 2012

    It's a shame that it took these many years to find the identity of this woman and make her family wait all these years not knowing what happened to their daughter. Very sad!

  • polsonl Aug 3, 2012

    At least the family has some closure and they can bury her (or visit where she is buried. Prayers for the family as they go thru this. Hopefully they will get the rest osf the answers they deserve. I think it is strange as well that they are just now finding out, but at least they know and can move forward.