Brittany Samone Smith, 28, was last seen on February 4. Police found her body in a suitcase near a river on Monday.
On Wednesday, authorities arrested Thomas Clayton Johnson, 37, and Emmalei Grace Trevathan, 24, during a traffic stop. The pair, who are romantically linked, are being held on charges of murder, murder of an unborn child, and concealing a body.
It is not yet clear what led investigators to the couple.
Smith was strangled, but a motive for the slaying has not been disclosed publicly, according to the television station, citing comments from Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker.
Cody Page, Smith’s boyfriend, told WRAL-TV that Smith used drugs and that there was a part of her life she concealed from him.
“She had a secret life,” Page told WRAL-TV. “She wouldn’t keep me informed. She was doing stuff that I didn’t agree with.”
Deputies arrested Thomas Clayton Johnson and Emmalei Grace Trevathan in the death of Brittany Simone Smith. Smith's body was found along the Neuse River. https://t.co/6Q8XUieTqD
— WFMY News 2 (@WFMY) February 11, 2021
Page said Smith and Johnson had texted each other last week, and that Johnson had planned to pick up Smith. It would be the last time Page saw his girlfriend alive.
Investigators questioned Page about her death, which prompted some people on social media to suspect that he played a role in her disappearance. Page refuted the allegations.
“I love that woman from the bottom of my heart and would never harm that woman,” Page told WRAL-TV. “I never laid a finger on that woman a day in my life.
“I actually feel physical pain because my other half is gone. I’ll never be able to hug my baby again.”
Brooke Pinel-Fereol, Smith’s cousin, told WTVD-TV that only “monsters” could murder a pregnant woman.
“Evil people,” Pinel-Fereol told the television station. “None of that should have happened to her at all. Brittany was a good person, a good mom a good granddaughter.”
Pinel-Fereol told WTVD-TV that Smith loved her two children and enjoyed dancing.
Smith and Page had lived together in a tent behind the home of Dale Williams, who had allowed the couple to stay on his property after they were evicted from a home in which they were squatting, according to WRAL-TV.
The two relied on a space heater for warmth and would use William’s house to do laundry and shower.
For Williams, the killing has led to sleepless nights.
“Last night was probably the worst,” Williams told WRAL-TV.
Baker, the Wake County sheriff, told the television that there could be additional suspects, but that Johnson and Trevathan are “the two we need.”
Page himself is recovering from addiction. He told WRAL-TV that he had been with Smith for seven years.
“That woman was my heart and soul,” Page told the television station. “She was my backbone. She was the answer to my question.”
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[Feature Photo: Brittany Samone Smith/Handout]