Fox News reported on August 4 that the Washington mother accused of murdering her two-year-old daughter and attempting to kill her 13-year-old daughter, has been arrested. Fugitive mom Jessica Smith, 40, of Goldendale, was found and taken into custody yesterday.
Police held a late-night press conference on Sunday and reported that the missing mother was located on a logging road about 15 miles from where the alleged murder of her daughter Isabella took place. Isabella was found dead Friday morning along with her 13-year-old sister Alana, who was found suffering from severe cut wounds. Police making the arrest would not discuss whether or not Smith had a weapon on her at the time of her arrest, would not discuss her state of mind, “or whether she said anything to the arresting officers.”
On Sunday, August 3, police in Cannon Beach, Oregon, announced that they were searching for the mother of the two-year-old toddler found dead by a housekeeper in her room at the Surfsand Resort in Cannon Beach, a resort town on the Oregon coast. Also found in that resort hotel room was the dead toddler’s 13-year-old sister who was suffering from “severe cut wounds,” according to Yahoo! News.
The mother checked into the resort with her two children on Wednesday. The dead toddler and her injured sister were discovered in their room on Friday morning. The toddler’s death was immediately ruled a homicide, according to Cannon Beach Police Chief Jason Schermerhorn.
Schermerhorn added that the children’s dad, reportedly recently separated from Smith, has been cooperating fully with the Cannon Beach investigation. The father has been ruled out as a suspect in the toddler’s death.
Court documents obtained by KPTV revealed that Jessica Smith's husband, Greg, had filed for divorce on June 30. She then filed a restraining order against him on July 17. Greg Smith's attorney, Nathan Petersen, told the station that Jessica Smith was supposed to hand the children off to their father for visitation the day they were found.
Petersen also said that Greg Smith had expressed concern about his ex-wife's mental state and had requested a psychological evaluation before a judge made a decision about who would have custody of the couple's daughters.
Yesterday, police charged the then fugitive mom with aggravated murder according to Oregon Live. Preliminary results from an autopsy performed on the two year old yesterday confirmed that the baby girl’s death was a homicide, although the exact cause of death still remains to be determined. Schermerhorn announced at an earlier press conference yesterday that “Isabella suffered no obvious apparent physical injuries and her cause of death is pending toxicology tests.”
Schermerhorn also announced yesterday that the teen daughter, although severely wounded with “critical cuts,” is in stable condition at OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital and expected to make a full recovery. Police also say that Alana’s condition was consistent was an attempted murder.
On Saturday night, a candlelight vigil was held by Cannon Beach residents in memory of the baby girl who was killed. “One of the women who helped organize the vigil said they wanted to support the teen who survived as well as the community.”