JOIN US : Pray for Justice for Laura

Laura Kate Smither

Laura Kate Smither
April 3, 2016, marks the 19th anniversary of the abduction and murder of Laura Kate Smither. No one has been charged in her murder. Laura's brother, David, has prepared a nine day prayer series (a Novena) to seek the softening of Laura's killer's heart and that God's justice be accomplished for her. Please join us in this nine day prayer for justice for Laura. You can begin at any time - all prayers are available on this page. Please read the Introduction, then follow the prayer suggestions over a nine day period.

Pray Until Something Happens

Pray Until Something Happens

Laura and David 1996Laura and David 1996

Annually the Smither family invites the public to join them on a mass novena prayer for Laura. This is usually only once a year, at the time of Laura's April 3rd abduction and murder anniversary date. If you would like to be on the E-mail list for these prayers with the Smither family, just send an e-mail addressed as:


with a subject line as follows:

Subject: subscribe

If you subscribe to the mail list you will receive a daily message for the nine days of the Novena, starting with the Introduction. This is generally 9 days prior to the anniversary date of April 3 or beginning with the anniversary date. The Smither family is VERY grateful for your prayers at ANY time, and take this opportunity to thank you for remembering Laura in this way.

If you would like to pray the novena at any time, it is available below in PDF form for download.

Please pray this additional prayer with us this year:

Abba, Father,
You have revealed Yourself as the God of Love Who desires all Your children to be saved, and Who will run to embrace any soul who sincerely turns back to You. We lift up the soul of Laura's killer, Your beloved child who has wandered in a far away land squandering the inheritance which You, his most Loving Father, have bestowed upon him.  We beg the Holy Spirit to sing Your song of Love into his heart.  Speak to his soul of his dignity and beauty as Your child, and give him the confidence to turn back to You in trust and repentance. We ask this through the infinite merits of Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Divine Mercy Whose compassion knows no bounds.

Here is our original Invitational E-Mail from 2009.

Laura's priest, who helped us so much in 1997, forwarded our invitational e-mail with a heart felt cover letter.

The novena prayer prepared by Laura's brother, David, is available below.

J4L-Introduction.pdf55.22 KB
J4L-Complete.pdf643.93 KB
J4L-Day-One.pdf65.7 KB
J4L-Day-Two.pdf66.26 KB
J4L-Day-Three.pdf72.09 KB
J4L-Day-Four.pdf69.44 KB
J4L-Day-Five.pdf71.5 KB
J4L-Day-Six.pdf73.43 KB
J4L-Day-Seven.pdf75.79 KB
J4L-Day-Eight.pdf73.45 KB
J4L-Day-Nine.pdf74.8 KB

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It is a true privilege to be

It is a true privilege to be able to pray with you through this Novena. God is a gracious God, and although we cannot always see how He has answered our prayers, He is just and true to always answer them. Thank you David for putting these prayers together and I hope that you will be multiplied through all of this. My love and prayers go out to your Mom (we were friends at University) and your Dad. Laura was a name on a Christmas Card once, but now is a name in my heart.

God bless you.

I will have a hard time

I will have a hard time praying for your perpetrator because my older sister was also murdered 23 years ago and I still don't have any feelings for forgiveness. I just don't want to forgive that evil person.

- Thank you

- Thank you

Novena for Laura

Although I am Catholic, I have never known how to do a Novena, but I do understand how powerful and how they reach God in their special, needed way. I will have a hard time praying for your perpetrator because my older sister was also murdered 23 years ago and I still don't have any feelings for forgiveness. I just don't want to forgive that evil person.

BUT, I will continue to pray for your precious Laura and your family. I have a 10 yr old son now, and your experience has made me be more careful for him and where he is ...

You have touched so many lives and brought love and peace to the world through your pain. Thank you for all you are doing for others.... there is just not enough thanks in the world for you all. God Bless Laura; she has done so much for others.

Thank you to everyone who has been praying with us.

Dear family, friends and to those whom we have yet had the pleasure to meet,

We are so deeply grateful for your dedication to David's Novena on behalf of his sister, Laura.

It has been a long journey for our family to reach this place of forgiveness and we have been supported in prayer the entire way. God is good. Christ is the Light in this world - and we long to be in the warmth of his embrace - to climb into the lap of Father God - and to be reunited in love with our beloved Laura. We ache for her - and the loss of her physical presence in our lives is a chasm that God has bridged for us to endure.

We understand that things happen in God's timing and not ours. We have been impatient many times - but are profoundly aware of the extraordinary timing of this novena. As you all know, this was Laura's brother's idea - and his alone. He created this novena out of the love in his heart for his sister, placing it in the womb of Mother Mary to help him birth a novena that would change and transform lives. Praise be to God that this is happening. It is God's perfect timing that David was inspired to do this at this time. For it to begin on the 12th anniversary of Laura's abduction and murder, which fell 9 days before Easter this year. For our prayerful intentions to be placed within Holy Week and to culminate in time for Resurrection Sunday - is no coincidence.

Praise be to God that we believe that Laura's murderer has been touched in ways that we don't even know. May his life be converted back to Christ through love. He was never shown unconditional love - and he aches for love. May those who cross his path extend love toward him, so that he may encounter Christ. The road to Damascus is before him - and all the possibilities of conversion that it brings. May the light of Christ shine upon him and bless him.

Some of you have shared with us how the Novena's meditations have touched you personally and we are so thankful for how the Holy Spirit has moved in your own lives. What blessings are found in prayer, as we pray for one another. The comments that have been left on have been very special to us, and we will continue to read future posts. If you feel called to leave a comment, please know that they are deeply meaningful to us. Thank you.

We will be leaving this novena permanently at this site, so that it will be available to you always. We invite you to continue to pray it from time to time, and to use it for your own intentions as well.

We have been spiritually enriched by sharing this time with you, and will treasure this shared relationship.

And lastly a special thank you to our son. David - we love you with our whole hearts, and are so very proud of you.

God is love. May we always share Him in this troubled world.

From our hearts to yours,

Bob and Gay Smither
"Remembering Laura"

Laura's Novena

Jesus Christ has enabled you to see past the horribly painful circumstances and to see things from God's perspective. This has brought much praise, honor and glory to our awesome Father, which means satan did NOT get the victory over the heinous act that was committed.

God continues to use your family in mighty ways and I know you will all keep right on thanking God for His promises and stand faithful in your hope in Him so that even in present day challenges you can rely with full assurance that He will fulfill every single promise...and He HAS promised that everything will come to light and that the truth will be revealed! Hallelujah and Amen!!!

In His love,

Rebecca Dunaway

I didnt know Laura

I didnt know Laura personally but it was so surreal to me when the abduction ocurred. Everytime I see a picture of her my heart aches. I look at my own daughter in fear at times. This Novena has brought to me an understanding of what God truly wants for each of us. It has touched me in ways I cannot describe here. Thank you for sharing this with us. May God bless you and keep you in the journey he has chosen for you.

My letter to Laura:

Hello Laura:
I had the privilege of meeting your dad a couple of weeks ago at a conference. He is just such a kind compassionate man. I can tell that he really misses you too! There is a 9 day prayer vigil going on here to soften your abductor’s heart and gain justice in your situation. I too was abducted. I know your pain. I am so glad that yours is over! Please tell the other children that I saw abducted and killed that I have not forgotten about them. Please give them all a big huge hug for me. When I was younger all I wanted was to go home and find the parents of the other children so that I could tell them how brave they were and that they went home to God! God protected me thorough so much! Sometimes I wanted to be the one that was home with God but we all have different journeys in this life!

2 Corinthians 1:3-11 “The God of all Comfort”
This scripture helped me a lot with that struggle and finding purpose for being left behind and surviving the tragedy that I suffered and so many others do. I was able to see that even the disciples suffered to the point of not wanting to live. But suffering to this point allowed them to give comfort that they received from God to others who suffer so deeply. You see unless you have been to that depth of suffering you do not know how hard it is to feel love and comfort there.

Along my journey I have been able to forgive my abductor and abuser in order for me to be at Peace with God and the world. There are so many here that have not been able to do that. I don’t blame God for what I suffered I thank him for his protection. I know he gives each of us a choice and many follow Satan not God! Satan wins so much bigger not from just the killer but from all of the people left behind after they kill who turn and blame God! Allow hatred to grow in their hearts towards the one who killed their loved one! Hatred only breeds more hatred! If we are to ever change this world we need to be MORE Loving not less! We need to love these criminals when they are young and alone and hurting! We need to love them when they have done horrible things. Love them enough to stop them! Love them enough to forgive them! Love them enough to never allow them to do these things again! Many here seek justice for their missing or murdered loved ones but so few out of Love! You would be so proud of your family because they seek justice out of Love! They are using their Love of God to influence the evil in this world! In cases like this it is so hard to get to that place. There are so many families suffering who do not know how to feel joy or love anymore! That makes my heart ache!

For whatever reason God sees fit in my life, this long journey to get home for me has created a HOME among the missing and abused. I hope that I will be able to influence people along the way to forgive and love as your family is doing! Save me a place there in my TRUE HOME because when I get there I want to meet you we have so much to talk about! You were truly blessed to have 12 years with such an amazing family! They are making sure that more get to go Home with God just by their example!

With deep respect and Love,

Laura's impact

Bob, Gay & David,
Laura was such a sweet person and always wanted to please the people that she cared about. It was always so great to spend time with her and it has been the memories of those times with her that we now cherish! The kids and Terry and I often talk about the last time we were with Laura Kate and how if we had only known that would be the last time the things we would have said and or done with her. We are so proud of David for providing us with this prayer list and for giving everyone an opportunity to heal. Too often we get caught up in the anger that we forget to ask God to help us forgive and move on. We love all of you and hope to see you soon!
Terry & Debbie Maxwell

I Never Quite Understood what a Novena Was..

Dear Bob and Family,
Greetings in the name of Jesus the Christ during this Holiest of weeks. By being faithful in prayer and supplication we humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord. HIS word will never be returned void. There is always a gift to those who are faithful to pray for even the most undeserving children of God. If you have not read the book "The Shack" yet, it is a powerful light into the mystery of God's infinite love for all of HIS creation.
We are deeply moved by your personal loss of your precious daughter, sister and friend Laura. The Christian witness that you are giving us all is a testament to the love which you have for Jesus. May the Lord's blessing permeate every aspect of your being and walk in HIS perfect path. In Jesus most Holy Name. Amen..

Together in Prayer
Francis Bertrand

in reply to April 9 meditation

Concerning God is Love. You comment that love is only love when it is shared (given and received)
That is why God created us with choices, what we often call "free will". We couldn't really love God unless we have the option Not to. And He wants our love - given freely and by choice.

Thank you for your insightful and meaningful messages. Each one touches me deeply. What an example you are of true, healing forgiveness.
Thank you for allowing all of us to pray with you. It is an awesome gift.

Prayerfully, Margaret

With much love to you Bob,

With much love to you Bob, Gay and David - truth and justice will prevail - never give up - we are all with you in our prayers and our daily thoughts
Lots of love

With Love

At your request, Dear Friends, I have daily read and prayed for Justice4Laura. I have come to realize it is not just here in this Earthly realm by prosecution, conviction and punishment where we seek justice, but in the Heavenly realm. Justice4Laura has taken on a new meaning for me as it is the will of our Heavenly Father that ALL would be saved and none lost. The justice is ALL can be forgiven for our sin, which includes us as well.
We don't, as God doesn't, condone the actions of Laura's killer, but the true victory over evil is the power of our Lord to turn the heart of a sinner. Sr. Paul was apart of the crowd who stoned Steven, and he literally saw the Light. I pray this for whoever took Laura's life.
I openly admit I still greatly struggle in counter transferring this to whoever killed Tommy, and ask now for your prayers for me to be able to pray.

With Love & Always In Hope


Thank you

Thank you Bob, Gay and David for being such wonderful examples of Christ's love. In the ultimate pain of a human being, losing a child and sister, you have shown the world that thru Jesus, you can experience forgiveness and love. You have turned this tragedy into such a positive helping other parents with Laura Recovery Center and all its spinoffs. But with this novena, you show that you are walking with Christ in asking all of us to pray for the conversion of the soul of Laura's murderer. Thank you for sharing your walk of faith, and I pray for you all to have the strength to continue your wonderful work and examples of faith. My rosary prayer will be for the conversion of this mans soul.
Beth Turner


I stand in awe of the powerful work God has done in your lives through this horrific event.In awe, because of the transformation that has taken place in your hearts, in order to see the ULTIMATE truth. The truth that God loves this man who perpetrated this crime against your beloved Laura, as much he loves each one of us. Being able to grasp that truth is testimony to the awesome power of the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour. I too pray that God's Holy Spirit will stir in this man's heart,to the point of making him miserably uncomfortable, until he comes forward with the truth. I pray for peace and blessings on you, Bob, Gay and David.

A prayer for you all!

Bob,Gay & David

My thoughts & prayers are forever with you all. I too am Honored to be apart of this effort toward righting this horrific wrong. May the person whom took her life return to the light of our heavenly father in true repentance. I am praying for Justice for your whole family. I wanted to share my true belief's with you. In my experiences I have learned through the love ones in my life that have passed they are not gone they simply are not here in the physical world but they are far from gone. I feel my parents around me all the time. I talk to my parents. I even smell their scent, When i am sad i feel my moms arms around me. Im sure Laura comes to you in her own way that is unique of her. Have peace in knowing she will be with you always until the glorious day you all reunite for all eternity along with our heavenly father in heaven. Until then may our heavenly father put his loving arms around you all and may the Love support & prayers of your friends and you own beliefs in our lord sustain you. May God Bless You. Love Ann Tidwell:)

Laura's Gift

Although Laura's life was short, I don't feel it was in vain. Because of this terrible tragedy, hearts have been blessed and healed by the work you do. I know it must be agonizing each time a child (or adult) goes missing, but people have come to know that they can count on you and the entire staff and volunteers of Laura Recovery to do everything humanly possible to help find their loved ones. Also, the SKATE program has provided untold wisdom, knowledge and hope to thousands of children. You are all always in my prayers. The respect I feel for each of you cannot be spoken in words. I know Laura is looking down on you, giving you guidance and is very, very proud of how you've honored her memory and how you've devoted your lives to helping prevent another family's heartache. May God Bless and watch over you all.

Kathy Austin

I have followed Laura's

I have followed Laura's story since the beginning and at the time I was only 17. As a 28 year old woman with children of her own, I have yet to forget. Each anniversary I am reminded of her spirit and how it continues to live and surround us all everyday. So many good things have come from such pain and for that we should all be eternally greatful. I pray that Laura receives the justice she and her family deserve and I pray that her love continues to visit those closest to her. Although, gone of the body her spirit walks with us all each and everyday. The Lord fills us up to allow us to share our blessings and our pains, for through these moments we find what we are truely made of.
In Jesus name we pray.

Laura Kate

Bob, Gay and David, our hearts enfold you and may our good Lord hold you in his arms and help you through this time. Our thoughts are with you all the time and we must try to remember the good and happy times we all had with Laura. I remember, so gratefully, the times when the children were younger and and how we just simply and so lovingly enjoyed being with them. Laura was our little ballerina and we were so proud of her. She is now safely in the hands of the Lord where brightness will always shine on her. God bless you all.

Daily Prayers

Hi Bob, Gay and David,

I have passed the invitation to the daily prayers to my friends and family and posted it on my Facebook page, so it will reach even more people. I am honored to be part of this and will follow the prayers faithfully.

God Bless,
Kathy Austin