A Maryland woman whose death last year was blamed on an attack by a panhandler was actually killed by her husband and his adult daughter, police said Sunday.
Keith Smith, 52, had told police that his wife, Jacquelyn, an engineer from Harford County, was trying to give money to a panhandler at a traffic light when she was robbed and fatally stabbed.
At a news conference Sunday, Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said the panhandler story is not true. He announced first-degree murder charges against Keith Smith and his daughter, Valeria Smith, 28.
Both were arrested in Harlingen, Texas, near the Mexico border. Harrison said the two were preparing to leave the country.
Harrison did not explain at the brief news conference what specific roles police attribute to Keith and Valeria Smith, nor did he articulate a possible motive. He said at the news conference that the concocted story took advantage of negative perceptions of Baltimore crime and credited detectives for their work in solving the crime.
It wasn’t immediately known if Keith Smith and Valeria Smith had attorneys who could comment for them.