Murder suspects located in the Rio Grande Valley

Pair wanted in Baltimore held in Cameron County jail

Keith Smith

COMBES — The death of Baltimore resident Jacquelyn Smith in late 2018 and her husband’s account of her murder grabbed national headlines.

Now, her husband and stepdaughter, the alleged perpetrators, are in the custody of Cameron County authorities.

Keith Smith, 52, and Valeria Smith, 28, who were arrested Sunday near Combes, waived their extradition Monday morning in the 404th District Court in Brownsville and were being held without bond.

Valeria Smith

The father and daughter are wanted by Baltimore authorities and face first degree murder charges related to the stabbing death of Jacquelyn, who was 52 at the time of her murder.

A Texas Department of Public Safety trooper conducted a traffic stop shortly after 10 a.m. on Sunday near Combes of a Toyota Camry that matched the description of the vehicle driven by the suspects.

The trooper then arrested the suspects and booked them at the Carrizales Detention Center in Brownsville.

Baltimore police began monitoring Keith Smith after he called 911 on December 2018 to report his wife was stabbed while giving money to a panhandler at a traffic light.

According to authorities, the story was fabricated and took advantage of the negative perceptions of crime in the city.

Smith gave several media interviews after the death of his wife, even catching the attention of Oprah Winfrey, and wanted city officials to pass a law named after his wife to ban panhandling at city intersections.

Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison did not specify what role Keith and Valeria played in the murder, nor did he provide a possible motive.

Harrison said the two suspects were preparing to leave the country.

Maryland authorities now have 10 days to pick them up from Cameron County custody.