Societal ills are both traumatizing and disappointing but individuals like Monique Smith serve as a reminder that Baltimore is home to a plethora of inspiring people who work to make the world a better place. Behind Smith’s infectious smile and contagious energy, her hope-filled story serves as a refreshing reminder that all missing children are not dead, and a devoted individual can make an impact, even in the midst of his or her own storm.
In her early twenties, Smith applied for a job, which required a background check. When the background check was returned as inconclusive, Smith provided documents, such as a birth certificate. The potential employer informed her that it was forged. Thereafter, an investigation was launched. A family member later agreed to a DNA test proving that the woman who raised Smith was not biologically related to her. To this day, the woman still refuses to talk to investigators.
Smith has a laser-focused mission to uncover her identity, the history of her existence, and find her family. Considered the longest living Jane Doe, known as “Monique,” she does not know her date of birth or her true identity. However, she refuses to give up trying to uncover any information or details to solve this mind-boggling mystery. She believes that her genesis began with some life-changing situation, such as child abduction or being bought as an infant, although the truth has not yet been uncovered.
For more than two decades, Smith has been trying to find out who she really is and where she was born. With documents on hand to prove her claim that the woman who raised her falsified records, Smith discovered that her identity was fictitious. Even though many years have passed, the mother of four is not giving up on finding answers to questions that are tied to her lineage.
“There is some pain in someone’s soul right now, because they’re like, ‘I know I had a sister. I know I had a little cousin,” Smith said, choking back tears in front of guests who showed up at Nordstrom in Annapolis on July 21, 2019. “What in the world happened?”
After a VIP reception, Smith discussed how she was able to overcome unique obstacles and ultimately became an author, community leader, and the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of minority-owned RE Harrington Plumbing and Heating, Inc., an underground utilities construction company and a real estate investor. Smith is even the executive producer of a docu-series called “Longest Living Jane Doe,” which has lead her to navigate filmmaking and film festivals.
Despite Smith’s struggle to piece together details of her own life, she remains devoted to increasing awareness about missing children; keeping the topic of child abduction front and center; educating others about child abuse occurrences; and the prevention of human trafficking. Armed with her documentary and book called “I AM THE ANCESTOR” published in 2011, Smith has been telling her gut wrenching story hoping to draw attention and awareness to all missing persons, and their love ones who continue to search for them.