Memory card found on the street leads to arrest of alleged killer

Cops Weren't Sure Brutal Video Was Real. It Was

Cops Weren't Sure Brutal Video Was Real. It Was

In a press release, the Anchorage Police Department said an SD card found on September 30 lying on the street in the city's Fairview neighborhood contained photos and videos of the assault and homicide of an as-yet unidentified woman.

The woman had no idea what was on the memory card she was about to access.

The woman's body was found last week close to a road in Anchorage.

Smith was taken into custody at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport on Tuesday afternoon and is now being held on a $750,000 cash bond.

Smith appeared in court Wednesday, where a judge said he'd be appointed a public defender. It is not clear whether Smith has an attorney.

A woman called Anchorage police on Sept. 30 to say she found an SD card lying on the ground, and that it contained disturbing videos from early September that showed a woman being beaten, raped and strangled, according to court documents.

The SD card contained graphic images and video of the assault and murder of a dark-haired woman.

The card was labelled "Homicide at midtown Marriott", according to court papers.

A charging document states that the videos depict a woman being choked, and a man saying "just. die", reports the Associated Press. But her efforts were futile.

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The first of the photos, which timestamps indicated were taken in the early hours of September 4, show the woman lying on a carpeted floor bloodied and bruised. "The carpet in the images and videos matches this hotel's carpet", prosecutors wrote in the document.

A couple of hours later, the pictures documented a different scene. The remains, they believed, were of the woman in the photos and videos. Photos reportedly show the victim's body on a hotel luggage cart.

"With the SD card, one of the first questions that detectives had to answer was 'Was this staged, or did this really happen?' " Thim told Alaska Public Media on Wednesday. "When they were able to determine that this was an actual crime, then the investigation started to quickly speed up".

Anchorage police believe human remains found along a highway earlier this month are those of the woman. In another video, the suspect is seen stomping on the woman's throat with his foot, documents said and laughing as he strangles her. It sounded like Smith, whom they had crossed paths with during another investigation, according to the AP. He did not know where Smith's flight had originated.

Police believe that Smith recorded the murder himself in a hotel room.

Images also showed the victim in the back of a truck, documents said.

Brian Steven Smith, a 48-year-old reportedly from South Africa, was arrested at Ted Stevens International Airport after investigators linked him to the crime.

Police spokesman MJ Thim said Smith had been on a flight returning to Anchorage. Police said detectives were working to confirm her identity and that the department would release her name once next-of-kin is notified of her death.

Her actions "played an instrumental role" and "serves as another example of when you see something suspicious, say something", said police.

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