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A California woman accused of killing her husband and fleeing to Mexico with their two daughters was arrested earlier this month and extradited to the United States, authorities said Monday.
On March 4, Mexican authorities handed Leticia Smith, 40, over to the U.S. Marshals Service, the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department said.
The case against Smith began in May 2015 when several people reported not hearing from her husband, Antoine Smith, 35, for several days. Friends and co-workers became concerned when text messages they received from his phone number which were “were not consistent with Antione’s messaging style,” authorities said.
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A missing person report was filed on May 11, 2015. The next day, deputies went to Smith’s Victorville home to perform a welfare check.
“Antoine was found inside the residence, deceased from multiple gunshot wounds,” the Sheriff’s Department said.
Leticia Smith was identified as a suspect but investigators were unable to find her. They later found evidence that she fled to Mexico with the couple’s daughters, Isabel, 8, and Abigail, 4.
While she was on the run, Smith’s mother told KNBC-TV that her daughter said she felt trapped in her marriage.
With no leads on Smith’s whereabouts, the case went cold. In December 2021, cold case investigators were working with Mexican law enforcement when they learned she was living in the coastal resort town of Rosarito, Mexico, located just south of Tijuana and the U.S.-Mexico border in San Diego.
The city is a popular destination for American tourists.
Smith was arrested on an extraditable warrant for her husband’s killing with assistance from the Justice Department. The couple’s two daughters were found safe.
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She is being held on $2million bail at the West Valley Detention Center.