An SD card contained murder video found on a street in Alaska’s largest city according to police and a charging document released Wednesday. This SD card contained a murder video of a woman being strangled and pictures of her face down in the back of a truck.
The card was handed to the police in Anchorage, Alaska, on September 30, but the woman’s body was found last week along the Seward Highway south of the city. She has not been recognized yet.
Police state a woman called them Monday, Sept. 30, to tell she’d found an SD card that contained Murder Video. The woman told police she’d found the SD card in the street in Fairview.
According to charging documents, the SD card was labeled “Homicide at midtown Marriott.” The memory card contained 39 images and 12 videos showing the progression of a crime.
The images showed a naked woman being hit on the floor of a hotel room, according to the affidavit. Other images showed her being killed by a man who was yelling at her to die in what sounded like a foreign accent, at one point stomping on her throat. It appeared that Smith recorded them himself, according to the affidavit. The woman attempted to fight back, the affidavit said.
Additional images showed the woman covered in a white sheet, being moved through a parking lot to a truck. Timestamps on the images at the hotel showed they were taken in the early hours of Sept. 4, the affidavit stated.
The final images on the card show the woman’s body face down in the bed of a pickup and were time-stamped Sept. 6.
Two days later, on Oct. 2, a caller notified the police that human remains had been found outside the city, on Seward Highway near Rainbow Valley Road, about 18 miles from the hotel that was the setting in the videos and pictures found.
“Once we viewed images on the SD card, we notified our detectives in the homicide unit and they took over that part of the investigations,” APD spokesman MJ Thim told.
Nevertheless, Police are working to identify the woman and her manner of death.
Thim says researchers were able to immediately identify the suspect in the video because detectives were familiar with him from a separate continuing investigation. This would specify neither the nature of the separate investigation nor Smith’s role in it.
Based on the charging documents, after police obtained a warrant for Smith’s cell phone records, they were able to trace his location to the area where the human remains were found within minutes of when the last still image on the SD card was created.
Smith has a truck matching the one in the images, and pings from his cellphone put him along Rainbow Valley Road off the Seward Highway, near where the woman’s body was found, within minutes of the last time-stamped photos of the body, the affidavit told.
48-year-old Brian Steven Smith was caught at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport on Tuesday without conflict. Thim states he was returning to Anchorage when he was arrested. Thim says Smith is the only suspect in the incident. Smith appeared in Anchorage Superior Court on Wednesday afternoon.
Smith had registered a room at the TownePlace Suites by Marriott the night the video was taken, according to the affidavit.
In court Wednesday, Smith appeared in handcuffs, wearing a yellow jail jumpsuit. He told Anchorage District Court Judge Brian Clark that he had about $2,000 in total saved.
Clark asked that he be appointed a public defender and set his bail at $500,000 cash appearance bond and a $250,000 cash performance bond.
Many questions remain unanswered Wednesday, including the identity of the woman.“We still don’t know who she is and we don’t know much about her,” answered Thim.