Business owner keeps vigil for her missing son

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By Molly Haines

“Grandma, did you find our dad yet?” These are just a few of the words that keep Owenton business-owner Linda Smith going every day since her son has been missing.
Kelly P. Herald III, 32, has not been seen by family or friends since around July 1.
Herald, who has two children, was living and working near LaGrange. Once the job ended, he stayed in Gallatin County with Smith and his father and worked in Carrollton.
Smith, the owner and operator of YOUniquely-U, said Herald had been arrested before, but was never convicted of a felony.
“He had some trouble with the law ever since he and his wife split up,” Smith said. “He had some trouble with prescription drugs and went to rehab on June 19. I stopped hearing from him, but I thought it was because he was in rehab. And I know sometimes for the first few weeks a patient is in rehab, they aren’t allowed to see people or make phone calls.”
Smith said that around mid-July she received a hospital bill for Herald from Jeffersonville, Ind. Because of privacy issues, she could not find out why Herald was in the hospital or what his injuries were.
In her search for her son, Smith turned to the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, which sent a deputy to the hospital. Hospital administration reportedly told the deputy Herald had never been there.
“A friend of (Herald’s) told me he wasn’t in rehab because he couldn’t get a bed,” Smith said.
Smith said Herald’s girlfriend told her he had been staying at a homeless shelter in Louisville while looking for work. According to the girlfriend, Herald befriended another man staying at the homeless shelter, who said he left one day with a clean-cut man to look for work and never returned.
“This isn’t his character,” Smith said. “Someone always stayed in touch with him and he always tried to stay in touch with his kids. Every day that we don’t hear from him is time wasted. I won’t stop looking for him until I find him.”
Smith said police have been reluctant to help her find her son.
“They say he’s probably just hiding and doesn’t want to be found,” Smith said. “Because of his age and because he’s had some trouble with the law, they just don’t seem to care.”
Without knowing who else to turn to, Smith is now seeking help from the public and asks that anyone with information to call her at (859) 643-3255, (859) 462-3636 or (502) 484-3220.
“He knew a lot of people in Owen and Gallatin counties,” Smith said. “I don’t know what else to do.”