Search for mom and son resumes after items discovered on beach Thurston County sheriff's deputies Wednesday afternoon resumed the search for Shantina

Thurston County sheriff's deputies Wednesday afternoon resumed the search for Shantina Smiley and her 8-year-old son, Azriel, whose abandoned van was found Sunday on a remote beach near Olympia.

Detective Lt. Chris Mealy said the search, which had been called off earlier, was back on after someone in the area recovered several items that washed up on the beach overnight.

Mealy says the items include two mismatched leather shoes, a half-full and corked wine bottle, an inhaler and an orange ball. He said one of the shoes could be a child's shoe. He added that Smiley purchased a bottle of wine during her travels around Olympia on Saturday night. Sheriff's Sgt. Cheryl Stines told The Olympian that Azriel uses an inhaler.

On Thursday, Mealy said the items that washed up on the beach appear to be connected with Smiley and her son.

Mealy says the positive identification of the items does not change the direction of their investigation. Thurston County has a boat in the water scouring the shoreline for clues. Investigators also are examining Smiley's bank records and court and public records and talking to people.

Charles Grimmer, who lives near the beach, told The Olympian that search dogs had been to his home twice after his wife reported to the sheriff's office that someone had knocked loudly and repeatedly on their garage door about 1 a.m. Sunday.

Grimmer said the couple feared someone was trying to get in.

He said he activated the home's alarm system, then went to front door and looked outside, but he could see no one. After his wife called the sheriff's office, investigators came to the home with bloodhounds. Stines confirmed that a search dog failed to pick up a scent at the home.

Wednesday, a boat searched the Boston Harbor area with a bloodhound on board to try to pick up the scent of Smiley, 29, and her son. Dogs also searched the roads and the area surrounding the beach.

Smiley and her son disappeared while on their way from their home in Silverdale to Castle Rock for a visit with Smiley's stepfather. Smiley grew up in Castle Rock, where she graduated from Castle Rock High School in 1998, and where she and her son lived with her mother and stepfather in 2005. (Her mother died that November.)

Smiley's stepgrandfather, Silas Smith, said Smiley made the same drive from Silverdale to Castle Rock a couple of weeks ago.

"She was looking forward to seeing her stepdad and his daughter," Smith said Wednesday. He doesn't think the trip "had anything to do" with Smiley's disappearance.

"We haven't heard nothing," he said. "We're just waiting for good news."

Smiley, whose maiden name was Kanally, lived with her grandmother Carolene and her late husband, Ron Edgell, in Castle Rock while growing up. She also came to live with the Smiths in Brinnon in 2008, Silas Smith said.

"She took a course in medical billing and decoding and came out with real good honors," he said. "She had a part-time job. At the end of this month she was going to work full-time in it. She was doing real good up in this area. She was going to get married to a real nice man."

Smiley's fiance, Robb Simmons, said he has no idea why Smiley and her son stopped in Olympia, at roughly the midpoint of their drive.

Simmons has witnesses who saw Smiley on Saturday have told investigators she seemed disoriented. At one point she bought a corn dog at a store, then tripped and fell while leaving. She did not return for the corn dog.

She got directions to the freeway but apparently went in the opposite direction, investigators said.

Simmons said Smiley is a recovering alcoholic who was under a lot of stress and relapsed last week. But he says she would never endanger the boy.

According to court documents, Castle Rock police arrested her April 13, 2005, for driving under the influence of alcohol. Because the arrest was her first DUI, she qualified for deferred prosecution — a chance to have the charge dismissed if she successfully completed alcohol treatment and other requirements. The Department of Licensing showed the charge was due for dismissal this April 13.

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