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Five years later, woman's death in East Nashville still a mystery

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) - A young woman was found dead on an East Nashville road after taking a cab home from a night out. Five years later, investigators are still trying to crack the case of Livia Smith. 

What happened to Smith in the early morning hours of February 20, 2013 is puzzling.  

Finding out who was behind the wheel of the cab she got into has left family and investigators grasping for clues  

"She was just known to hang out with friends and that's all she was doing this night," Detective Filter of the MNPD Homicide Cold Case Unit told News 2.  

After a night out with friends in East Nashville's popular Five Points area, Smith hailed a yellow cab.  

"She had had enough and wanted to go home and so her friend helped her into a cab and that was the last she was known to be alive," Detective Filter explained.  

Hours later, her body was discovered by someone driving by.  

"She was actually found lying in the middle of Barclay Drive just about two to three doors down from where she resided."  

Investigators believe Smith died falling back on her head.  

"There's evidence there that kind of points towards the fact that she tried to get out of a moving vehicle or she was forced out of the moving vehicle, pushed out of the moving vehicle at a low speed that caused her to fall out and hit her head on the pavement," Officers Donald Davidson in the Traffic Division explained.  

The question remains what happened during the cab ride home that ultimately led to her death.  

"At this point it's apparent that something happened inside this cab," said Det. Filter.  

When her body was found police say her clothes were still intact, her purse and phone were still with her. 

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"Something may have been going on in the cab where she felt like she needed to get out, we just don't know." said Officer Davidson.   

Smith's brother believes she was trying to escape from a sexual predator.  

"I think that she tried to flee the cab escaping sexual assault," Ian Struthers told News 2.  

Resilient is what comes to mind as Struthers describes his 32-year-old sister.  

"My sister was very very tough and knowing her I'm sure that she fought back and tried to get out of the car," he explained.  

Despite numerous witnesses that saw her leave the bar, there is no record at any Nashville taxi company of her ever getting into the minivan cab. 

Police said interviews with cabbies who frequented the Five Points area produced little information. 

"This is one as I look to retirement still bears on my mind that I would really like to see solved before I leave here, but that may not be possible," Officer Davidson sighed. 

Smith's case changed the way Nashville cabs operate. It is now required that every cab in Nashville has GPS tracking. 

If you have any information on this case contact Crime Stoppers at 615-74-CRIME


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