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Donna was last seen in Weaverville, California on November 10, 1980. She had been kept home from school that day for unspecified reasons, and told her grandfather she was running away from home. He believed she was only pretending and helped her pack her bags. Donna disappeared afterwards. She was last seen near the Joss House Historical Museum on Main Street downtown at 2:30 p.m. Her mother reported her disappearance to police at 11:30 p.m.
Smith will not face charges in Donna's presumed death, as he is already in prison for life. Investigators stated they would not attempt to recover her body, because she's been missing so long it would be difficult or impossible to find her remains in the landfill. In the aftermath of Smith's confession, Donna's family prepared to hold a memorial service for her. Her case is now considered closed, but her remains have never been found.
Trinity County Sheriff's Department