Northwestern soccer to honor ex-manager who died mysteriously in Charlotte

Adam Smith, the Northwestern soccer team manager, walks the sidelines during the Upperstate Championship in 2009.
Adam Smith, the Northwestern soccer team manager, walks the sidelines during the Upperstate Championship in 2009. HERALD FILE PHOTO

As police in Charlotte continue to investigate the unsolved suspicious and mysterious death of 4 foot 3 inch, 85-pound Adam Kent Smith from Wednesday, the soccer family at Northwestern High School where Smith was a manager plans to honor him at Tuesday’s home match against Clover.

And his mother wants answers, too, about what caused Smith to leave a treatment facility in Charlotte where her son had gone to deal with problems stemming from prescription drugs after several surgeries he needed because of his medical condition related to his size.

Northwestern players will wear black arm bands and observe a moment of silence before the game Tuesday night against Clover, said Dom Wren, head coach. Smith was a manager before graduating in 2009 at the school where his sister also was a manager and his brother played on the soccer team.

“Adam was a great young man, a real character who was part of our Northwestern family,” Wren said. “He always had a smile on his face. What happened to him is terrible, tragic news. We all want to know what happened to him.”

Alex Martinex, a professional soccer player in Charlotte who played on that state champion 2009 Northwestern team, said the players loved Adam Smith and “all of us are devastated.”

“We all have a lot of memories of Adam - good memories,” Alex Martinez said. “He was a great guy.”

Smith, 24, who had dwarfism, asked an officer for help Wednesday saying he was hurt. An ambulance was dispatched but Smith died at Carolinas Medical Center of what the medical examiner in Charlotte said was blunt force trauma.

A homicide team is looking to the case, police said. However, police in Charlotte do not know what caused Smith’s injuries and have asked for the public’s help in trying to track Smith’s whereabouts before he asked police for help. He was last seen at the intersection of Mint Street and Morehead Street near downtown Charlotte - and just a couple of blocks from the rehab center where his mother said she took him April 13.

A Charlotte-Mecklenburg police spokesperson said Monday no new information was available.

Smith attended Clemson University after high school.

Lori Smith, Smith’s mother, said she took her son to the Rebound treatment facility April 13 to deal with struggles her son had with pain medications after surgeries related to his hips and other physical problems connected to his dwarfism and size. Smith said she wants to know what happened to her son and see if maybe he was hit by a car or had some other incident that led to his injuries that hospital officials say were blunt force trauma.

“We don’t have any answers,” Smith said Monday.