A woman’s psychic vision leads her to a murder victim.

Psychic Etta Smith in a red and black shirt

Etta Smith, a psychic

Smiling Melanie Uribe

Melanie Uribe, murder victim


On December 17, 1980, Etta Smith was working at an aerospace company in Burbank, California, when a news story triggered a frightening vision. Thirty-one year-old nurse Melanie Uribe hadn’t been seen for days and investigators feared the worst. Etta says her unusual episode began when she starting hearing a voice in her head:

“It was a mental thought, but it was as if someone were speaking to me. ‘She’s not in a house.’ After that thought registered, it was as if I saw a picture. I saw a canyon area. I saw a road. I saw it curving. I saw a dirt path. I saw shrubbery, and I saw white through the shrubbery. I could not clearly see what the white was, but it was something distinctively white. And, I thought, ‘Well, if what I’m experiencing is the possibility of where this person could be, maybe the white I see is her uniform,’ knowing that she was a nurse.”

A hazy secluded area of a forrest

Etta saw the location of the body in her head

For Etta, the vision was so powerful she felt compelled to report it to the police:

“I couldn’t just let it go because I kept wondering if this person needed help. And if their life depended on that help, it would be very wrong of me not to do something.”

Retired Los Angeles Police Detective Lee Ryan says he welcomed Etta’s information:

“I gave her a lot of credibility based on the fact that she came in on her own. She indicated her conscience was bothering her, which triggered a response in me that possibly her conscience was bothering her because maybe she knows more than she’s telling us. But then again, maybe she is, in fact, sincere and real. So let’s treat her in that light until we find out otherwise.”

Based on her psychic vision, Etta pinpointed the area in Los Angeles County where she thought the missing nurse might be found, a place called Lopez Canyon. Detective Ryan seemed willing to listen, but Etta worried that the police would not follow up. She decided to investigate on her own. With her daughter, Tina, Etta drove to Lopez Canyon.
When Etta stepped out of her car, she experienced an intense feeling of dread. She was sure Melanie had been there and that something horrible had happened to her:

Etta being escorted to a jail cell by police

Etta was jailed for murder

“I felt trauma and I felt scared. It was like an energy that was like tingling inside of me. It was sort of like you feel when you get an adrenaline rush.”

The feelings forced Etta to keep searching. Soon she spotted some fresh tire tracks:

“I stopped, and for reasons unknown to me, I wanted to look at these tire marks and I wanted to put my hands in them.”

Etta said she got the feeling from the tracks that the missing woman had been there:

“When we got back in the van, the only thing I could think about is, “I want to leave here. I don’t want to be here anymore.”

Further down the canyon, Etta stopped again when Tina saw something unusual in the brush. Etta says it was a body:

“The only thing I could truly distinguish, and know what this was, was that she had on white nurse’s shoes.”

Etta quickly contacted the police. An autopsy determined that the body was indeed Melanie Uribe. She had been robbed, raped, and beaten to death.

That evening, Etta was summoned to the police station. She was questioned by two detectives she’d never seen before:

“They wanted me to explain to them how the whole thing had unfolded. And that seemed very normal to me. But after I felt I had finished telling them everything and filled in the blanks, it’s like, ‘Okay, let’s start at the beginning. Tell us this again.’ So we go through the story again… and again… and again. This went on for hours, until about 10:00 that evening, when it becomes very obvious to me that now I’m a suspect.”

According to Det. Ryan, Etta seemed to know too much about the crime to not to be involved:

“The investigating officers, having no other leads or clues, didn’t have any other choice at that time but to presume she was, in fact, an accessory, either before or after the commission of the crime.”

Etta volunteered to take two polygraph exams. She passed both. But Etta says the detectives lied to her about the results and booked her as an accessory to murder:

“I wasn’t sure if it was a bluff or what. I was so tired that I don’t think I really cared anymore. I was either going to go home or to jail. I’m not sure I cared.”

Etta Smith was not going home. She was locked up in jail for several days, unaware of dramatic new developments on the outside: police had arrested two young men for the murder of Melanie Uribe. In the end, Etta was completely absolved. The two confessed killers were sent to prison. Det. Ryan credits Etta’s vision for helping to solve the case:

“I was quite amazed. And I think a lot of other people were, too, but I think a lot of them were reluctant to want to admit it. Had it not been for Etta Smith, I don’t think this case would have been solved as rapidly as it was or possibly not at all.”

Etta has no explanation for her sudden onset of psychic abilities:

“I sometimes wonder what it was that transpired, from this innocent person who was murdered, and how her death somehow reached out and touched me. I think it’s one of the mysteries in life that many things happen to us throughout our life that are unexplainable.”

Since helping to break this case, Etta has assisted several police departments and crime victims using her psychic abilities.

Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season seven with Robert Stack and in season three with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.



  1. Jose plaza

    I will like to know if Etta Smith can find out the status of my first cousin. She is missind for 19 years. Thank you


  2. Anonymous

    I too worked with Melanie , what I have never understood is why she was working the night shift. When we worked together at Tarzana Conval she had stated that she would never work nights. She must have had some kind of premonition because she feared the night shift.


  3. Anonymous

    Nativia Cole, you are HILARIOUS! Missing persons, premonitions, ridiculous Satanic cult storie.

    Thanks for the laughs,



  4. Anonymous

    I’m not sure about her, this is just all to cookie cutter, these visions. The fact that she has solved more cases does not help. The last person to suspect is the one who is helping the case. I feel that she might just be way to clever and have had people helping her out. Think about it, all she would need was a bribe to have someone take the fall. I say they should be checking out banking details at the times of each crime. Keep tabs on her, and surveillance. Tell her there is another crime, and see how she reacts when she does not realize it is fake, and thus no visions come. Also, keep certain cases privet from her.


    • Stuart (Glasgow)

      ‘a bribe to take the fall’…for murder? You’d have to be a half-wit to think 2 young guys would confess to robbery, rape and murder for a bribe. Ýou come across as an idiot in the extreme.


  5. Sue

    I used to work with Melanie at Pacoina hospital. She was a kind and wonderful person, and a great nurse. May God bless Melanie’s sweet soul, and her family. And May God bless Etta Smith-thank you for your bravery and perseverance. I totally believe you.


    • Donna

      Sue, you don’t know me but I am Melanie’s sister. Thank you for your kind words. She’s now been dead longer than she lived. I miss her to this day. Her son is now 40 yr old man and he still grieves for her. It’s nice to know that she’s not forgotten.


  6. geisla kimble

    I’m Geisla Kimble is the mother of Quindell Malik Moody that been decesed for 6 months now I can’t sleep or eat in been hit bye a car an the police officer didn’t did not investigation in my son’s death n put my son at fault. I know for my son for not walking in the road or nothing done been in strange places n walk around out of the state.please I need help to c really did my son walk in front of the to kill hisself


  7. Me

    Such sad story.


  8. Nativia Cole

    ive actually been in her shoes. about 3 years ago now, a 13 year old girl in a neighboring town went missing. the day that she went missing, i had a dream which involved the missing person flyers with her picture that were not accessible yet and the location of a large body of water. in fear of being judged, i only told my mother and my husband about my dream. throughout the investigation, i had a unexplainable connection with it as if i personally knew her. the investigation went cold until 2 years later when a man came across her remains next to a man made lake called lake jackson. my mom had called me as i was returning home from my inlaws. when she told me they found her i was extremely excited. then she informed me of the location in which she was found. it was exact same location from my dream 2 years earlier. my husband said that i turned pale as a ghost in which i informed him of what my mom had just told me. he was speechless the whole way home. looking back now, i truly wanted to go to the police with my premonition but i was in fear of being accused somehow or having them think i was insane.


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