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Homeless Man Known as Marc Smith, 45, Found Dead Near Flagler Plaza Parking Lot

| May 10, 2019

marc smith

What may be the last photograph of the man believed to be Marc Smith, captured by a passing driver and sent to County Commissioner Joe Mullins recently.

Two days ago County Commissioner Joe Mullins in an email circulated four pictures of homeless individuals to fellow county commissioners. The pictures, he said, had been sent to him by local residents. ” This isn’t normal ,” he wrote commissioners. ” “These individuals are being coached by a local person that they have the right to act this way and be in these locations on the corner. They have been offered help and would rather be in this state.”

One of the pictures, taken from a passing car exiting I-95 at the intersection with State Road 100, showed the somewhat distant silhouette of a black man reclining against a wall of the overpass, wearing a red jacket under some coverings, next to a shopping cart. That man is believed to be a person who went by the name of Marc Smith.

“Marc has refused medical attention through several previous calls for service where Marc was reported as a suspicious person or solicitor under the I-95 overpass at SR. 100 E,” Flagler County Sheriff’s deputy Bryan Frederick Denker wrote in an incident report Thursday.

A business owner had reported finding Smith to 911. She had first seen him at 8 a.m. when she arrived for work. It was not unusual: she thought he was asleep. She works at the Halifax Health Hospice Resale Shop, a thrift store, and she’d recently sold him some wares. She didn’t want to startle him, so she didn’t attempt to wake him. When she noticed he hadn’t moved in hours, she reported the matter to 911.

That morning, the man known as Marc Smith was found dead by a fire hydrant near the parking lot of the Flagler Plaza shopping center in Palm Coast, along State Road 100. He was 45. He had been living in a homeless camp in the woods off of Old Kings Road, a homeless camp that’s gotten none of the attention that the now-eliminated camp near the Flagler County Public Library along Palm Coast Parkway got for the past several weeks. But his death is likely to only further focus attention on an issue that’s been a topic of discussion on several local advisory and government boards.

“Marc was laying on his back in a pile of his personal belongings and trash,” the deputy reported. “He was located between two rows of bushes, approximately 15 feet from the parking lot on the western side of Flagler Plaza. Though behind a hedge row, Marc was visible from the parking lot wearing a red jacket, and brown pants. A blue fire hydrant was also between Marc and the parking lot.” Flagler County Fire Rescue paramedics responded to the scene, along with the Palm Coast Fire Department. A paramedic pronounced Smith dead at 12:54 p.m., and a crime scene was established.

Crime scenes don’t necessarily imply that a crime was committed, or that a death is suspicious. They are routinely established until suspicion is ruled out, and to ensure that sufficient evidence is collected should it be a suspicious case. A detective responded to the scene, as did the Crime Scene Investigations unit. “No obvious signs of trauma or injury were observed on Marc’s body,” the deputy’s report found. “A check of Marc’s typical camp site by Coconut’s Car Wash across the street did not find any signs of struggle or suspicious activity. Marc’s belongings were packed away in trash bags which he typically does when he leaves the site for the day.”

The medical examiner removed the body for an autopsy in St. Augustine, and the crime scene was disbanded at 3:20 p.m.

Deputies sought to confirm his identity but had only limited success. Smith, they found, had gone by various aliases, had a Florida identification card issued through the Department of Motor Vehicles, and was linked to a booking photo through the St. Augustine Police Department. But a further search through a database “finds the same person using several other aliases throughout the country,” the sheriff’s report states. “A true positive identification with a social security number is not available at this time. Marc Smith’s identification has not been verified.” He is believed to have lived in Miami previously.

“It’s why I’m pushing, we’ve got to have some kind of legislation,” Mullins said after learning of Smith’s death. Mullins has been pushing for ordinances that would regulate certain homeless behavior, whether it’s panhandling or setting up tents. He says he does not intend the ordinances to be a form of policing enforcement and arrests. “The legislation is not to beat up on these people or treat them wrong.”

Mullins says he had once spoken to the man in the picture–about county social services. “I don’t want to see them put in jail, I don’t want to find them arrested, but I don’t want to find them dead,” he said. “That breaks my heart.”

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19 Responses for “Homeless Man Known as Marc Smith, 45, Found Dead Near Flagler Plaza Parking Lot”

  1. marlee says:

    Mullins is pushing for ordinances that would regulate certain homeless behavior, whether it’s panhandling or setting up tents.
    and then he says….. he does not intend the ordinances to be a form of policing enforcement and arrests.

    Regulating homeless “certain” behavior, panhandling and setting up tents, WILL be policing, enforcement and predictable arrests.

    Come on, get creative and think out of the box about this…go to other cities and research how they handle this issue.

  2. Billy Pizza says:

    “Think outside the box” means to try something creative. Copying what other cities have done wouldn’t exactly be thinking outside the box.

  3. Sidewalk Sam says:

    Society is degrading a little more every year. Homeless people will be the majority by 2038.

  4. Concerned Citizen says:

    And yet I still can’t understand why they need a free pass. Especially if you refuse help.

    If you are homeless and you refuse help then you should be held accountable for your actions. If you are choosing for whatever reason to live that way what gives you the right to be on my property? What gives you the right to solicit and shoot up in public? When others go to jail for the very same behavior.

    Stop cowtowing to these folks. Go into these camps with social services. Offer whatever help is available. If they refuse then turn to Law Enforcement and have them do their damn jobs.

    if you folks think this is overly harsh work with me one day. We got two calls this week to go pressure wash human feces out from under a business awning. Someone crapped all over a front awning because they were told to leave private property. We pick up trash around area ponds that is mostly alcohol containers and needles. Real respectful right?

    I have been as sympathetic as I can be and continue to help those in need. However when you put your health at risk cleaning up after these folks it gets a little frustrating. Not to mention the money and time spent putting up “official signage” from the SO and then they don’t do anything.

  5. Whitebird says:


  6. We are all one says:

    My family passed this man on Sunday afternoon right when the storms were coming in & I had meant to bring him some food from Burger King, but forgot between getting our order together & kids. On Thursday I passed by & see the CSI van & he is dead. It breaks my heart to see that they have been moved out from behind the library, the only place they had to call “home”. We do need to come together as a community to help those who can not help themselves. there are numerous tiny home villages that have popped up around the US, why can we not help provide something like this for our homeless community? I understand your frustration of seeing & cleaning up after those who still choose to use drugs or defile private property, but all of the homeless should not be judged by the few who are in the wrong. In 2012 my family was almost homeless, we worked construction in the area for many years but after the housing decline, we slowly declined with it. Had it not been for family allowing us to come stay with them, we surely could have been in the same spot as some of these people, so i tend to not think the worst as to how someone got to that place. A lot of our homeless are veterans, struggling with depression or PTSD, so naturally they are introverts & maybe hesitant to take “help”, but that does not mean we should just turn a blind eye & not try. There is no reason that this man should have died. We are a rich community, why can we all not donate $5 to put towards something to help those less fortunate regain their dignity & self sufficiency? Would the City of Palm Coast be willing to gift a parcel of land that a tiny house community might be built upon? Would Palm Coast be willing to follow in the likes of Ft. Worth Texas & employ some of these people to do clean up throughout the city & pay them a fair wage? Naturally a tiny house community for the homeless would have to have checks & balances, addicts who chose to continue being addicts would not be allowed to stay, but those who are looking to be rehabilitated & become productive with in the community would have access to rehabilitation services, medical & mental health care, help to find work or schooling. We can not continue to turn a blind eye to these people, they need help & we as a community should be held accountable to at least try & help. These are articles that could help us see what a difference building such a community could do for our homeless population & how it could be set up so the ones who do want to better themselves can finally reach their goals. We are all brothers & sisters, no matter what our gender, race or circumstance, lets help to raise each other up.

  7. Edith Campins says:

    Concerned Citizen:

    What exactly do you want law enforcement to do? Homelessness isn’t a crime. What “free pass” are you talking about? Have you actually seen a homeless person “shooting up”?
    As for the clean up you have been called to do, that is your model employment isn’t it? You can always get another job.
    Lastly, you talk about the drug paraphernalia you have to clean up, how do you know it comes from the homeless? I have seen plenty of young people hanging out in various parks and other public areas, up to no good. In fact, I believe it was the local youths who were the cause of the library having to take down the gazebo.
    Seems like you are not speaking from experience but just parroting the misinformation beingspreadaround town.

  8. Really says:

    IMO Helived and died the way he wished RIP.You cant Legislate morality or otherwise.

  9. Ritchie says:

    Absolutely, WE are all one.

  10. Ivelisse cancel says:

    Ask the other homeless people that were staying behind the library the may know him and may have some information about him. Try the local pantries and social service agencies and the churches that provides dinner, St Vincent’s De Paul or the Methodist Church they know all of the homeless people around also Family Matters, Ms. Denise Calderwood she works with the homeless as well as Lisa from Changing Homelessness.

  11. The Rock says:

    A man dies alone on the street and our county commissioner says legislation is the answer??? How would laws in panhandling and permits for tents have saved this man’s life??? A place of shelter where social services can assess his situation and his mental state might have been more helpf than passing legislation. Basically, legislation would have moved him to another coin th so he could die there and Flagler wouldn’t have to deal with another indigent burial. My goodness people!!! We CAN DO Better!!!

  12. Disgusted in Flagler County says:

    May this man who was somebody’s son R.I.P.

  13. Gypsy says:

    We are all one paycheck away from the same thing happening. How about we focus on programs to help the almost damn near less fortunate from this happening to them, namely, me. I have needed a hand up, not a handout. I cannot get simple Medicaid for stage two cancer cuz I work 34 hrs a week, much less food stamps for me and two kids because of the fact that I receive support for my 2 yr old. I received nothing for 17 yrs and counting w/ my oldest and couldent even claim her as a dependent, last yr. My sons disabled and I’ll be damned if I dont have more than 2 grand in assets, preventing me from any SSI claim. I’m penalized for every attempt to anything other than work more. That’s social injustice. There are programs for them and they are well aware of what rules they consist of. Building more pro attempts will cause more influx and allowed them to stay within their self imposed realms of identifying. I have been poor enough to be on the streets before and it was cuz I chose dope, at that time and got whacked out, lost my ass, couldn’t find it and finally, without any social comments, picked my self up and stop being retarded, thinking I had a disease. The disease I now have is cervical cancer from bad choices and hep c from choosing to he an addict. I want the help, need the help and it’s not available. And there us noone advocating or even writing an article about that. Takes a death for ppl to see were all fronting in this town?

  14. Concerned Citizen says:

    @ Edith Campins

    I am sorry you dislike it when people speak from experience.

    Case in point. At a commercial complex that is private property we have signage up from the FCSO indicating No trespassing. A trespass form has been signed allowing the Sheriff’s Office to remove these folks from the property. However several indivividuals return leaving nasty messes and interfering with busniess. The Sheriff’s Office is called repeatedly because they refuse to leave when asked. Even after taking the legal steps to protect the property deputies don’t do anything. All we want them to do is move them along. I’m not asking for anyone to go to jail. How is this fair to the busniesses (most small and local) that are just trying to function?

    In regards to your question about homeless shooting up. The answer is yes. Several times myself and FBPD have had homeless individuals removed from amenities centers after hours. Both times drug paraphanelia was found on that person after use. In that case unfortunatley an arrest was made.

    Yes you are correct in the fact that I could find another job. However cleaning those messes up that homeless people feel entitled to leave is not part of it. Those are typically emergency calls submitted by desperate clients who have to open for busniess but can’t because of disrespectfulness. I enjoy my job for the most part but it’s frustrating dealing with intentional disrespect.

    If you or I hung out where we weren’t supposed to be and if you or I used the bathroom in public that would constitute a crime. I’m pretty sure we would both go to jail. When Law Enforcement continues to let it happen after the correct steps have been taken to prevent it that is a free pass.

  15. Mark says:

    They all need to spend some time in a facility to address their mental health issues as do many “normal” people.

  16. SharkBitten says:

    Here is an idea. Provide food, clothing and shelter for those who choose drugs and alcohol over food, clothing and shelter and provide drugs and alcohol to those of us who choose food; clothing and shelter over drugs and alcohol. Sounds like a solution that’s fair.

  17. SharkBitten says:

    Nobody provides alcohol and drugs to those of who make food, clothing and shelter the priority.

  18. Concerned Palm Coaster says:

    In some of the responses there has been great feed back, a few years back I myself faced homelessness. Due to programs that the VA has I was not on the street. But I have empathy to those who are on the streets. You do not know their history, what led them to be there in the first place. Cities like Daytona Beach and Ormond are kicking them out and that really dies not help them. We have to stop putting a title to them for they are human beings and deserve to be treated as so. If this town full of Churches asked each member to donate 4 to 6 dollars, just a tithe then land can be utalized to start small homes on. Let the city hire them to do jobs around town, just to get them started. We need to give them a chance and a whole lot of love.

  19. Lj says:

    St Aug has pushed then out why they are here to begin with so how creative is that ? no panhandling or vagrancy is absolutely
    enforced in Putnam St John’s and most of Volusia and its been word in syreets go to Flagler it’s out problem? You can lead a horse to water and if they chose not to drink we should do what say ok ? If help is refused u cannot just allow mentally ill to riam freely crime substance abuse safety on both sides is not ok? Look the cost of indigent and unclaimed bodies is also our issue them as well. Some of homeless are quote incapable and should be feened incompetent

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