Julie Smith, Guilford County government’s public relations manager, isn’t thought to be in danger.

However, her sudden and mysterious disappearance from the county scene was a big surprise to many, especially since she was relatively new to Guilford County and seemed to enjoy the job.

That may be, however, without any formal announcement or notification to the press members she worked closely with, Smith has moved on to another job – though as of yet county officials aren’t revealing what that job is.

Smith, who was hired by Guilford County in May of 2022 to promote county actions and put a positive spin on them, did not write a press release about her departure from Guilford County government – nor did she even mention she was leaving.

Smith was brought in by County Manager Mike Halford to help put a more professional face on Guilford County government. Her LinkedIn page on the web still features a picture of the old Guilford County Court House at the top.

When the Rhino Times asked Smith a question in an email on Jan. 2,  she responded, “I will be enjoying some time off during the winter holiday break and will return to the office on Wednesday, January 3, 2024.”

On Jan. 22, she wrote in response to an emailed question, “Hello – I will be taking some time off beginning January 17 and will return to the office Thursday, January 25, 2024. I will be intermittently checking email during this time. If you need communications assistance, please contact a member of the communications team.”

That was an automatic email reply, but later that same day she wrote, “I’m out of the office currently (on vacation in snowy Utah), but have added Tristan and Eddi [to the email chain] for their support.”

When emailed a question on Thursday, Feb. 1, an automatic email reply stated, “Hello – My last day with Guilford County was January 26, 2024. If you need communications assistance, please contact a member of the communications team.”

Guilford County officials aren’t saying anything about why Smith left or where she will soon be working. However, Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Skip Alston did inform the Rhino Times that Smith got a job elsewhere and was not buried in an avalanche.