Memory card depicting woman's murder found on street; suspect arrested

Remigio Civitarese
Ottobre 13, 2019

A woman called Anchorage police on Sept. 30 to say she found an SD card lying on the ground, and that it contained disturbing videos from early September that showed a woman being beaten, raped and strangled, according to court documents.

Authorities believe the woman shown in the video is the same woman whose remains were found on October 2 near the intersection of Seward Highway and Rainbow Valley Road southeast of Anchorage but they have yet to publicly identify her.

Police believe Smith recorded it himself. Police said Wednesday that they think the body is that of the woman from the hotel, but are still working to figure out her identity and cause of death.

Anchorage authorities announced this week the arrest of 48-year-old Brian Steven Smith for the killing of a woman identified by police as Kathleen J. Henry, who was 30 years old.

The detectives began an investigation and discovered the card contained 39 images and 12 videos, all date stamped September 4.

Police spokesman MJ Thim said Smith had been on a flight returning to Anchorage.

Police took Smith into custody without incident at the Ted Stevens International Airport on Tuesday.

According to the National Institute of Justice, 56% of American Indian and Alaska Native women have experienced physical violence by intimate partners in their lifetime. It contained multiple videos and photos of a man beating and choking a naked woman inside a hotel room.

Photos apparently show the woman underneath a blanket on a hotel luggage cart near a truck and in the truck bed, per the document.

Investigators were able to narrow down the suspect to Smith because detectives were familiar with his accent from another ongoing investigation.

Smith, who lives in Anchorage, was born in South Africa, police say.

Charging documents also claim that Smith owns a black pickup truck that matches the one seen in the photos, and that cellphone records place him within the vicinity of where the woman's body was found at the same time the final photos were taken.

Authorities learned about the memory card on September 30, when the woman called to report a disturbing discovery, according to KTUU.

The police department said it "extends its gratitude to the citizen who stepped forward with the evidence".

Smith remains behind bars where he is being held on an outstanding warrant.

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