Officials hope DNA offers clue in death

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AIKEN --- It has been more than three months since Ann Fox Smith was found stabbed to death in her home, and investigators still have no suspects in the Aiken teacher's slaying.

But police are hoping that evidence collected at the crime scene will yield clues that might help them identify the killer.

Lt. David Turno, spokesman for Aiken Public Safety, said the evidence was sent to the State Law Enforcement Division lab for DNA testing, but last month it was sent to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for further analysis.

"The feds have more sophisticated equipment that they can use to do different testing," he said, adding that it could take months for the results to come back.

In the meantime, investigators are still working the case, hoping for a break that will lead them to the person responsible for the 47-year-old's death, he said.

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 had been a special education teacher for 18 years.

Detectives don't believe the stabbing was random or committed by a stranger, Lt. Turno said.

Early in the investigation, detectives were able to exclude Ms. Smith's daughter as a suspect. After her body was discovered, investigators spoke with her estranged husband, Wilson Smith Jr., and two teenage sons, who retained attorneys and refused to speak with detectives.

Since then, Lt. Turno said, "there's been some cooperation" from the husband and two sons, but he did not say whether they have been ruled out as suspects.

Detectives have ruled out a number of friends, co-workers and acquaintances, he said.

Reach Michelle Guffey at (803) 648-1395, ext. 110, or michelle.guffey@augustachronicle.com

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pantherluvcik
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pantherluvcik 08/05/08 - 06:31 am
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God forbid something like

God forbid something like this happened to my mother, i would want to help any way I COULD!!! I definitely wouldn't get a lawyer to avoid helping police, hmmmm!!

RogueKnight
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RogueKnight 08/05/08 - 07:12 am
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I can understand the family

I can understand the family lawyering up because you hear about family being wrongfully accused of killing family members all the time. Look at the Jon Benet Ramsey case. John and Patsy Ramsey lived under media scrutiny for years before they were finally removed from the list of suspects. Too bad Patsy didn't live to see that. Having said all of that, I hope they can find Mrs. Smith's killer. She sounded like a great lady. My sister is a special ed teacher, and it takes a special person to take up that calling. If it turns out it was family that was responsible for her death, put them UNDER the jail.

1trugent
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1trugent 08/05/08 - 08:34 am
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RoqueKnight, the Ramsey's

RoqueKnight, the Ramsey's brought suspicion down on themself and I still say, they or someone they know killed their little girl. That DNA was weak and could have been planted or transferred very easily. One thing I do know is that no random stranger entered that house and killed JonBonet and in the end the truth will be revealed.
And I do know this, if it had been my little girl who was murdered, I would have cooperated in any way I could to help clear myself and I certainly wouldn't pick up my belongings and move to Atlanta knowing the killer was still on the loose.

Whats a life worth
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Whats a life worth 08/05/08 - 01:27 pm
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ba/ma46 is the reason the

ba/ma46 is the reason the Ramseys (and the Smiths) needed to get attorneys. "Weak" DNA? You "know" a stranger didn't enter the house? Get real. What you "know" is what you have been told by the media. You are biased because you made up your mind about what you "know" before the actual facts are presented. I don't know who killed Mrs. Smith, but I do "know" that having a lawyer doesn't make it any MORE likely that the husband or the two kids did it. Not having a lawyer in a situation like that is stupid (and is one reason that poor people are more likely to be charged with crimes since they can't afford a lawyer on the front end of the investigation). More than one innocent person is in jail because the police decided who did it and then made the facts and statements taken out of context fit their theory. With people like ba/ma46 out there ready to convict based on the coverage in the AC, what chance do you have to get to the truth if you didn't do it? I don't claim it happens often, but how many times does it have to happen before you'd lawyer up if you ever find yourself in a similar position. I'd never kill my wife, but if she was killed, I'd darned sure have a lawyer.

mable8
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mable8 08/07/08 - 07:01 pm
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In this day and age. with the

In this day and age. with the rush to judgment and poor police tactics, anyone who becomes suspect SHOULD have a lawyer. There are too many innocent people who are in prison because of that. For those who were finally "cleared," their names have been sullied and reputations ruined. Since no one has any facts, they should not be using the scant information made available by the media to convict anyone. There is still such a thing as trial by jury; give it a rest and hope the police do find the murderer.

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