Police have charged a Fort Drum soldier on leave for the holidays in the abduction and murder of a 65-year-old Delaware woman who disappeared after taking her dog for a walk.
According to NBC News, 24-year-old Army Staff Sergeant Dwight L. Smith, Jr. of Wilmington, Delaware is accused of murdering Marsha Lee. Police say she was out walking her dog Monday morning in her Wilmington neighborhood when she disappeared. After the dog returned home without her, her husband found some of her clothes in a nearby street. Just before that, two people called police, reporting seeing a man stuff something into a red Hummer and speed off from the same location.
Police say Smith, a Purple Heart recipient, hit Lee with his SUV and then dumped her naked body in a parking lot near railroad tracks along Interstate 95.
My heart is breaking for her husband and two daughters. I know the whole neighborhood will be heartbroken said Lee TMs neighbor Judy Goldsmith.
Police pulled Smith over in his red Hummer Monday night. Court papers say Smith told police he wanted to kill someone, and that Lee was alive when he put her in his Hummer. Records say Smith told Lee he'd take her to the hospital, but instead smashed her head in then dumped her body.
Smith's father says that's not what he told him.
"He does not remember doing this, he just doesn't remember doing it" said Dwight Smith, Sr.
Smith's family says his brain was injured in a bomb blast in April, in his second tour in Afghanistan.
"I lost my son, he flatlined twice in that helicopter. God seen forth to bring him back to me said Smith Sr. And then this happened. Am I hurt for that family, yes, I grieve for that family, I TMm praying for that family."
Smith Jr. has been charged with kidnapping and first degree murder.
(Information from NBC News was used in this report)