Authorities say a California woman wanted in connection with her husband’s 2015 shooting death has been apprehended in Mexico.
On May 12, 2015, Antoine Smith, 35, was discovered dead in a bedroom at his Victorville, Calif., home.
Two days prior, deputies with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department received phone calls expressing worry for the victim’s safety. Antoine Smith had not been seen or heard from in days, according to multiple acquaintances and coworkers. Additionally, they stated that text messages were being received from his cell phone that appeared to be out of sync with his writing style. The following day, a missing persons report was made.
The victim’s body was discovered the following day during a welfare check at the Smith residence by deputies. Law enforcement determined that he was shot numerous times and died as a result of homicide. Following that, an investigation was launched.
Days later, SBSD investigators declared publicly that they thought Leticia Smith, 33 at the time of her husband’s death and last seen driving a silver Honda Accord, was the suspect and on the run. However, she was nowhere to be seen. Isabel Smith and Abigail Smith, the couple’s two daughters, had also vanished.
According to Los Angeles-based NBC affiliate KNBC, the alleged killer’s mother–who requested anonymity–stated that her daughter felt imprisoned in the marriage and that her son-in-death, law’s while terrible, was a result of that miserable relationship.
A neighbour reported seeing the unfortunate couple quarrel recently–and feared they were the last person to see Antoine Smith alive.
“My heart nearly stopped (when I discovered he’d died),” neighbour Stacee Harold told the television station in May 2015. “Because they haven’t seen him, and the last time I saw him, he was engaged in a fight…” I may be the final one to see this individual if something happens to him.”
Several more neighbours related similar tales.
According to CBS’s flagship station in Los Angeles, KCBS, the pair, who worked on a military post together, “often clashed,” according to neighbours.
Osvaldo Macias, one of the neighbours interviewed by the television station, said his family heard what sounded like a shotgun explosion go off in the Smith household just days before Antoine Smith’s body was discovered.
Authorities assumed Leticia Smith flew to Mexico with her children for a long period of time–and did not issue an Amber Alert because the girls were deemed safe. However, her whereabouts remained a mystery for years. The inquiry was taken over by the SBCSD Cold Case Homicide Team in December 2021. After cooperating with Mexican officials, the defendant and her children were located in Rosarito, Mexico.
Leticia Smith, who holds dual citizenship, was apprehended without incident by Mexican police and delivered to the custody of the United States Marshals Service on March 4, 2022. When she arrived in the United States, she was apprehended by SBSD officers. According to Fox affiliate KTTV in Los Angeles, authorities said the children are still safe.
The defendant is now being held on $2,000,000 bail at the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga, California.
Currently, she is scheduled to appear in court on April 4, 2022.