On April 25, 2008, 21-year-old Lauren Wright was shopping in a mall in charlotte when her phone rang, it was a call from her younger brother, with news that would change her life.
Lauren Wright, Ann Fox Smith's daughter: “He said, 'mom’s dead.' And I literally just broke down in the South Park Mall; I was just in tears on the ground.”
But, she says she didn’t learn the details of mother’s death until hours later.
Wright: “My dad actually didn’t tell me anything. When I got home that day, he was outside playing football.”
She says investigators at the Aiken Department of Public Safety (ADPS) were the ones to tell her that her mother, Ann Fox Smith, was brutally stabbed to death in her home.
Wright: “She was so brutalized because we couldn’t even do an open coffin just because they...couldn’t fix her to do an open casket, so we could see her, you know, I never even saw my mother dead, so it was really hard to even register it.”
With no physical evidence in the case, last August, ADPS brought in expert criminal profiler Dr. Michael Prodan from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED).
Dr. Prodan describes Fox’s killer as someone close to her, who acted out in rage.
Despite the profile, three years later, police have yet to name a suspect.
Lt. David Turno, Aiken Department of Public Safety: “We would like to speak to her estranged husband, at the time, Mr. Smith. We would like for him to come in and meet with investigators, we would like his close associates to do the same. We’ve already reached out to them, spoken to them, but still years later; they have refused to fully cooperate.”
And three years later, her daughter begs for justice.
Lauren Wright: “I think it’s important for the people in Aiken to remember that there was a murder that happened, a very vicious vindictive murder and it hasn’t been solved. That means that whoever did it, there’s still a murderer in Aiken. He is living his life, you know, and he is going about Aiken and is shopping at your grocery stores.”
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