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PCSO News Release

Media Contact:
Wood, Donna

Public Information Officer 
News Date: 5/27/2014 

 Triple Homicide Suspect David E. Smith Captured in Tennessee 


"David E. Smith was taken into custody around 2:00 pm, today, Tuesday, May 27, 2014, in Knox County Tennessee," said Sheriff Grady Judd.

According to Knox County Sheriff's deputies, Smith has been transported to a local hospital.

The 2002 beige Mercury Sable Smith was believed to be driving has been secured by KCSO, along with a firearm.

Polk County Sheriff's Office detectives are currently traveling to Knox Tennessee.

 

ORIGINAL NEWS RELEASE:

“We’re conducting an extensive man-hunt at this hour and we need the public's help.  This suspect has taken the lives of three people and we need to find him before he harms anyone else."  Sheriff Grady Judd

Polk County Sheriff's Office Homicide detectives are currently conducting a Triple Homicide investigation at 5601 Old Highway 37, Lakeland, and are asking for the public's help in locating 27-year-old David E. Smith, who resided at the home which is located in the Medulla area, at the intersection of Cherry Lane and Old Highway 37.

Smith was last seen driving a 2002, beige Mercury Sable bearing Florida License 708 MDB.  Smith is described as having black hair, brown eyes, approximately 5'10" tall and weighing approximately 220 pounds. Smith is of American Indian decent.  Smith is considered to be armed and dangerous. 

Detectives were told Smith refers to himself as "Prince David," and is delusional.  Smith was related to one of the three victims, though detectives have yet to confirm all identities of the two females and one male found shot in the residence.

At approximately 9:00 pm, Monday, May 26, 2014, a 14-year-old girl arrived home from a weekend ROTC trip to find her mother deceased inside the home.  She told one of the chaperones, her ROTC Sergeant Major, what she found, and emergency responders were contacted.

Responding deputies located the two other victims, all shot, deceased in the home.  Detectives believe the victims were killed sometime after 7:00 am on Saturday, May 24th.

Smith may have high school friends in Chattanooga Tennessee, and family in Texas; however his whereabouts are unknown.

"Due to his alleged military background, his paranoid and delusional state of mind, we are urging the public's help in locating this suspect - as soon as possible,"  Sheriff Grady Judd 

Please do not approach Smith, he is considered to be armed and dangerous. Anyone with information about Smith's whereabouts is urged to contact the Polk County Sheriff's Office immediately at 863.298.6200. 

Anyone who wants to report information anonymously may call 1.800.226.TIPS