Brittany Samone Smith missing: Body found stuffed in suitcase along Neuse River Trail in Raleigh, North Carolina near where pregnant woman went missing. Foul play suspected as authorities await autopsy report.
The female corpse was spotted by a passerby on Monday morning near the Neuse River Trail in Raleigh, the Wake County Sheriff’s Office said.
Wake County Sheriff’s deputies had been combing the area all weekend in search of 28-year-old Brittany Samone Smith, who was reported missing on Thursday, ABC 11 reported.
Police have not disclosed the identity of the victim but said it’s possible the recovered corpse was that of 28-year-old woman, Brittany Smith, who disappeared about 10 miles away in Wendell on February 2.
Case treated as homicide
The case is being treated as a homicide, according to Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker, who told reporters that it’s ‘safe to say this was no accident’.
An autopsy is underway to confirm the woman’s identity and cause of death according to WXII 12 News.
‘We’re getting ready to confirm [the woman’s identity],’ Baker told reporters at the scene on Monday.
‘I can’t sit here and tell you that’s what’s in there right now. We have not gotten to that point. We have information to believe it.’
‘It’s not every day, it’s not every morning, that you find what could be a person’s body in a suitcase, in a river,’ he added.
Police had put out an alert asking for the public’s help in locating Smith on Saturday, four days after she was last seen in Wendell.
WRAL reported that neighbors said Smith had been living in a tent with her boyfriend in the 200 block of Fox Run Drive.
Person of interest
Smith was described as being 4’11” tall, about 115 pounds and ‘noticeably pregnant’.
Baker hinted that investigators suspect Smith may be the victim in the suitcase on Monday.
‘If this is, in fact, this young lady that we’ve been looking for all weekend, someone is responsible for that,’ he said.
The sheriff also said there is a ‘person of interest’ detectives want to speak with.
‘We’re going to work very hard. We’re going to find out who was responsible. I can tell you that. Because these things just don’t happen. Someone is responsible.’