- Oct 25, 2017
The woman had no idea what was on the memory card she was about to access. She recently found it on the ground near her neighborhood grocery store in Anchorage and was curious about its contents — especially when she noticed its unusual label: “Homicide.”
Then, she opened it.
The horrifying photos and videos she found inside were “instrumental” in the arrest of Brian Steven Smith, 48, Anchorage police said Wednesday. Smith is accused of strangling and beating an unidentified woman in a hotel room early last month and leaving her body near a stretch of highway south of the city, according to a news release.
When investigators looked into the files, they found 39 photos and 12 videos that allegedly show a naked woman with long dark hair, who appears to be a native Alaskan, being assaulted and strangled by a man in a hotel room, the Daily News reported, citing an arrest affidavit. Police said the SD card was labeled “Homicide at midtown Marriott.”
The man could be seen on video laughing as he choked the woman, at one point even stepping on her throat, the affidavit said. In another clip, he yelled at the woman to “just … die,” speaking in what sounded like a foreign accent, according to police documents. The woman fought back, “attempting to scratch at the man’s wrist with her right hand to get him to stop,” authorities said. But her efforts were futile.
Meanwhile, detectives reviewing the gruesome footage recognized the man’s accent, the Associated Press reported. It sounded like Smith, whom they had crossed paths with during another investigation, according to the AP. Authorities said Smith is originally from South Africa, adding that he allegedly shot the photos and video himself.
It wasn’t long before more evidence against Smith started piling up, the affidavit said.