NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Nearly 10 years ago, a young woman was found dead on an East Nashville road after taking a cab home. Now, investigators are still hoping to solve the mysterious death of Livia Smith.
Smith’s younger brother, Ian Struthers, said he can’t believe it’s been 10 years and her murder remains unsolved.
“Ten years and we still haven’t been able to, not a trace, not a trace. Not a hint, like nothing, there have been no real leads,” Struthers told News 2.
Struthers and his family still feel defeated and still puzzled to this day as to what happened to his 32-year-old sister in the early morning hours of Feb. 20, 2013.
After a night out with friends in East Nashville’s popular Five Points area, they ended up at 3 Crow Bar, and Smith felt like it was time to go home.
“Her friend helped her to this van that was parked right outside the bar because she was having a hard time walking. That’s the last time anybody saw her… was her getting into that van,” said Detective Matthew Filter of the Metro Nashville Police Department’s Homicide Cold Case Unit.
It’s what happened two hours later that remains a mystery.
“How did she end up with the injuries she ended up with and in that location? She had injuries all over her body. The injuries that killed her were blunt force injuries to the head. We believe that she tumbled on the roadway, and struck the back of her head hard on the road surface which caused her death,” Filter said.
| READ MORE | Latest headlines from Nashville and Davidson County
Someone driving by discovered Smith lying in the middle of Barclay Drive, just a few doors down from her home.
“Something happened inside that van, whether it was a sexual assault, or something else that startled her, made her panic and she felt the need to get out of that van as fast as possible,” Filter explained.
“I definitely think she was fleeing the cab trying to escape sexual assault. My sister was a tough broad, she wouldn’t back down. She was a very tough woman and I think she fought back. You know, and he just left her on the side of the road,” Struthers said.
Despite numerous witnesses that saw her leave the bar, there is no record of her getting into the van at any Nashville taxi company.
UNSOLVED TENNESSEE: Find more of the state’s cold cases, missing persons, and other mysteries →
“The male driver, we’ve never identified him. We believe that the driver was a male, Middle Eastern man based on the description,” Filter said.
Smith’s brother said he did everything he could to try and get this solved for her.
“Definitely each year, it’s still hard not having her around. Time doesn’t heal the wounds that this has caused me and my family, and I don’t think it’s going to,” Struthers said.
What Struthers wishes he could tell his little sister is, “That she’s still missed, that we still think about her every day. We’re holding out hope that this will get solved, but right now it’s not looking very promising.”
Nearly 10 years later, Smith’s death is still a mystery, but her case is still making a difference. It’s changed the way Nashville cabs operate, every cab in Nashville is now required to have GPS tracking.