The sister of a man who was reported missing two years ago is so convinced of the location of her brother’s body, she asked the Philadelphia Fire Department to search again.

Chrystal McKinney asked them to search waters around a scrapyard on the west side of Philadelphia for the body of her brother, Bruce Smith, who has been missing since April of 2017.

Even though nothing was found, she said she has always had a feeling that’s where her brother is.

“Honestly, I really feel this is it and I have felt it from the get-go,” McKinney told Kosciusko radio station Kicks96. 

“I honestly believe something happened to him and he was taken to the canal. I don’t know what was done to him, but whatever was done to him, he was put there. I totally believe that.”

While present, local law enforcement authorities were not involved in the diving expedition near the salvage yard, which caused some commotion two weeks ago off of the bypass near where Beacon Street intersects Mississippi 15.

Smith, who would be 34, has been missing since April 8, 2017. His sister could not be reached for comment, but told the radio station that although she was discouraged at the lack of progress, she’s optimistic about another search planned for the future.



Both the PPD and Sheriff’s Departments have an open case and follow any leads that come in, but said had no hand in the recent dive operation.

Philadelphia  Detective Bobby Pattillo said that Mckinney orchestrated the dive independently, though they do have an open missing persons case.

“We have done several land and water searches on him,” Neshoba County Sheriff Tommy Waddell said. “ But at this time we have found nothing.”

Smith has been described as 5-foot, 9-inches tall, weighing 160 pounds, with short brown hair and hazel eyes. He was reportedly last seen at the intersection of Kosciusko Road and Robin Hood Circle.

In May 2015, Smith, was arrested after he escaped the Neshoba County Jail. Authorities at the time said he was being questioned in an “unsecured” part of the facility when he fled. He faced one count of felony burglary when he escaped.

Smith then allegedly broke into a Kemper County residence and changed out of his prison clothes.

Investigators followed reports of other sightings and tracked him to a wooded area off of Mississippi 15 near the state Department of Transportation facility, where he was apprehended without incident following nearly an hour-and-a-half manhunt.

Philadelphia High School delayed buses for about 30 minutes that day after sending out an electronic message to parents, as many students live in the vicinity of the jail. 

Smith has several distinct physical features: he has a scar on his back as well as multiple tattoos. His tattoo on his right arm that says “Redneck” and a tattoo on his left arm that reads “Romeo.”

He has a tattoo on his back that says “Smith” and then one on his chest that reads “Laura Jo.”

Anyone knowing the whereabouts of a man matching this description should call the Philadelphia Police Department at (601) 656-2131.