Family refusing to work with police in stabbing

AIKEN --- Authorities have excluded Ann Fox Smith's daughter as a suspect in her death, but three other family members are refusing to cooperate with investigators, a police spokesman said Wednesday.

And that is affecting efforts to find Ms. Smith's killer, said Lt. David Turno of the Aiken Department of Public Safety.

"We can't exclude these people," Lt. Turno said. "We need their cooperation."

On April 25 Ms. Smith's body was found at her Whitney Drive home after she didn't show up for work at Kennedy Middle School, where she was a special education teacher for 18 years. She had been stabbed to death.

Lt. Turno said that after the discovery of the 47-year-old woman's body detectives spoke with her estranged husband and two sons at least twice.

Since then, he said, Wilson Smith Jr. and one of his teenage sons have retained attorneys and have refused to speak with detectives. Ms. Smith's other son does not have an attorney, he said, but also won't talk to investigators.

Her daughter, Lauren Smith, has cooperated with detectives, however.

"We've been able to account for her whereabouts," he said, "and she's been excluded."

Detectives have also ruled out a number of friends, co-workers and acquaintances, he said. Detectives don't believe the stabbing was random or done by a stranger, Lt. Turno said.

Now they're hoping someone will come forward with information. The killer is a danger to everyone, Lt. Turno said.

"They need to be mindful that this person has killed," he said.

Reach Sandi Martin at (803) 648-1395, ext. 111, or sandi.martin@augustachronicle.com.