Mom of woman allegedly killed by family members who made up fake story about a panhandler stabbing says she knew story was ‘phony’

The mother of a Maryland woman who made headlines last year after her husband claimed she was killed after helping a panhandler with a baby, said she thought from the beginning that something was off about the story.

Anna Trisvane, mother of slain woman Jacquelyn Smith, told Baltimore’s NBC 11 that her daughter was always cautious and always looked out for safety. When Trisvane heard that her daughter supposedly rolled her window down and handed money to a stranger on the side of the road late at night in Baltimore, she immediately had her suspicions.

“She was too cautious. She doesn’t like things like that. She would have said to herself, ‘No that’s phony.”

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As CrimeOnline previously reported, Jacquelyn’s husband Keith Smith said she spotted a younger woman holding a sign that read “Please Help me feed my Baby,” while holding an infant, or what appeared to be an infant, at around 12:27 a.m, off of the 1000 block of Valley Street. Smith said that Jacquelyn, who was seated in the front passenger seat, rolled down the car window and handed the woman cash.

Keith and Valeria Smith [Police Handout]
Smith, who was driving the car, reportedly told police that after Jacquelyn handed the woman money, a man approached their car and said he wanted to thank her for helping, but instead, tried to grab her purse and necklace. Smith said the pair struggled and the man stabbed Jacquelyn in the torso before fleeing the scene with the woman and baby. Smith was taken to the hospital where she was pronounced dead.

After investigating, Baltimore police later said that Smith and his daughter, Valeria Smith, were involved in Jacquelyn’s killing and staged the death. Valeria Smith was Jacquelyn’s stepdaughter, according to police.

CBS 2 reports that police captured father and daughter in Texas on Sunday, near the Mexico border. They were trying to make it out of the country after learning they were wanted by authorities on first-degree murder charges, according to the acting Baltimore police commissioner, Michael Harrison.

“We pursued justice from the very beginning and these detectives were very tenacious, were very thorough and very dedicated and they followed the evidence,” Harrison said.

Harrison said during a press conference last week that he’s unable to “go into specifics” about how they determined Keith and Valeria Smith were behind the murder, but evidence gathered helped them piece the puzzle together.

“While I can’t go into specifics, what I can say is we pursued the evidence from the very beginning, and these detectives were very tenacious, they were very thorough and dedicated and they followed the evidence. And collecting all that evidence allowed them to prepare a warrant, and the judge saw fit that probable cause existed and signed that warrant, and now they’re charged with first-degree murder.”

Trisvane added that she felt Keith Smith had something to do with murder shortly after hearing the details surrounding her daughter’s death. Trisvane has never met Valeria Smith.

Jacquelyn was an electrical engineer at Aberdeen Proving Ground in in Harford County, Maryland. She was beloved member of her community and held a degree in electrical engineering from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. She’s survived by her two sons.

“She was just a good person. She liked everybody. She believed in God a lot,” Trisvane said.

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[Feature Photo: Jacquelyn Smith/Handout]