Jessica Smith, the 40-year-old Oregon mother suspected of killing her 2-year-old daughter and seriously injuring her 13-year-old daughter, has been captured in Oregon, The Huffington Post is reporting.
Police had been looking for Smith, a native of Washington state, since Friday, when a housekeeper at Surfsand Resort in Cannon Beach, Oregon, found 2-year-old Isabella dead and her 13-year-old sister, Alana, with severe lacerations in their hotel room, according to The Oregonian. Alana was able to give some basic information to police, and was airlifted to a hospital in Portland. She is expected to recover.
As of this post, it has not yet been revealed what, specifically, caused Isabella’s death, although the death has been positively ruled a homicide. She did not appear to have any obvious physical injuries. According to The Oregonian, the official release of the cause of death is currently pending toxicology results.
After a manhunt involving several agencies, Smith was captured after being spotted by a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter in the woods near Cannon Beach. She was arrested without incident and charged with murder and attempted murder.
As of this post, authorities aren’t clear on Smith’s possible motives. According to the Huffington Post, Smith and her children checked into the hotel Wednesday morning. Police Cheif Jason Shermerhorn has stated that Smith was not suspected of having physically abused either of the girls.
In June of this year, the girls’ father, Greg Smith, filed for divorce from Jessica. Greg had sought custody of the children following Jessica’s failure to appear for a court-ordered psychological evaluation. Greg’s lawyer states that Greg had ordered the evaluation following some “erratic” messages from Jessica. The Oregonian reports that on the day of the killing, Jessica was under a court order to return the girls to the custody of their father.
This is not the first time this summer that a mother has been involved with the killing of a toddler. Last month, Leanna Harris, mother of Cooper Harris, an Atlanta-area toddler who baked to death in a hot car while his father “sexted,” was accused of being involved in the child’s death and cover-up (see this Inquisitr article).
Image courtesy of: The Oregonian