ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The FBI is assisting police in Anchorage with the investigation of a homicide captured in photos and video on a camera memory card.
FBI Special Agent Steve Forrest said the agency is helping investigate the death of Kathleen Henry, 30, whose remains were discovered Oct. 2 by a passerby along the highway south of Anchorage, television station KTVA reported .
“I can’t discuss details of the case but can confirm the FBI has provided and continues to provide investigative and technical assistance to the Anchorage Police Department,” Forrest said by email.
Brian Steven Smith, 48, faces charges of murder, sexual assault and evidence tampering, according to an indictment filed Monday. A court appearance was scheduled for Wednesday.
His attorney, assistant public defender Daniel Lowery, said by email Tuesday he does not comment on pending cases.
A woman called police Sept. 30 and said she had found a camera memory card on the ground containing evidence of a crime.
The card was labeled, “Homicide at midtown Marriott.” Midtown is a section of Anchorage.
Detectives reviewed the card and found 39 photos and 12 videos. The videos showed a man beating and strangling a woman, telling her to die and laughing.
The woman attacked had dark hair and was described as “possibly Alaskan Native.”
The man’s voice in the video had what sounded like an English accent. Detectives listening to the video remembered the voice from a previous investigation and linked it to Smith, an immigrant from South Africa.
Investigators learned that Smith from Sept. 2-4 had stayed at TownePlace Suites by Marriott. Photos on the memory card showed a partial license plate on a black pickup, and detectives linked it to a 1999 Ford Ranger registered to Smith and his wife.
Cellphone records placed Smith in the area where Henry’s body was found shortly after the last photo was taken.
Anchorage police have declined to comment on a previous investigation involving Smith.
Police on Oct. 10 identified the woman killed as Henry, who was originally from Eek, a village 420 miles (675 kilometers) west of Anchorage.
Police arrested Smith on Oct. 8 at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport as he returned from a trip.
Police credit the woman who turned in the memory card for Smith’s timely arrest. He is the only suspect in the case and police do not believe he received assistance in filming the crime.
Information from: KTVA-TV, http://www.ktva.com