Authorities in Maryland have arrested a woman’s husband and stepdaughter on charges related to her murder following earlier reports that she died while attempting to help a panhandler late last year.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Keith Smith said his wife stopped to help a young woman holding what appeared to be a baby and a sign that said “Please help me feed my baby.”
“It was drizzling, it was cold, wet and my wife, like any normal person, felt sorry for the baby, which turned out not to even be a baby,” he said at the time. “It must have been like a stuffed animal or something wrapped in a blanket. From where we were, it looked like a baby and we thought it was a baby.”
Now Baltimore police say Keith Smith and his daughter — both of whom were reportedly in the car during the fatal stabbing — are facing criminal charges including murder in the first degree, as reported by WOLB.
Law enforcement in Texas caught up with Keith and Valeria Smith near the U.S.-Mexico border and arrested them during what investigators believe was an attempt to escape the country. As of the latest reports available, they were waiting to be extradited back to Maryland.
Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh issued a statement on the matter Sunday.
“Like everyone else in our city, state and across this nation, we mourned the senseless killing of Jacquelyn Smith,” she said. “To now learn that family members staged this brutal killing is beyond belief and represents a double tragedy.”
Pugh alleged that the suspects acted “with unconscionable violence” while “exploiting the legitimate fears of our residents” by portraying the victim’s death as an act of random violence.
“I commend our homicide detectives for their expert and tireless work in bringing those truly responsible to justice in this very troubling and sad case,” she added.
My statement on the murder of Jacquelyn Smith pic.twitter.com/LYqwtvWWYa
— Mayor Catherine Pugh (@MayorPugh50) March 3, 2019
[Feature Photo: Keith and Jacquelyn Smith/Handout]