Missing girl found in S.F.; expected in Roanoke today

By Evrod Cassimy – bio | email

ROANOKE, VA (WWBT) – Roanoke County Police said that the 12-year-old girl reported missing for five days last week is expected back in Roanoke sometime Monday.

Brittany Smith,12, was found in San Francisco. Her accused captor, Jeffrey Scott Easley, was found too and was arrested on the spot.

Police say Brittany was not hurt in any way. They're still trying to make sense of this story after Brittany's mom, Tina Smith, was found dead in her home. There are still a lot of unanswered questions after Smith was found safe and sound by San Francisco Police.

Roanoke authorities are just thankful for a happy ending to a near week long mystery.

"I can't express it!" said Roanoke Police Chief Ray Lavinder. "I'm happy, believe me I'm happy and it's difficult to put into words and we together have worked through this for an entire week and I think we've talked about it between each of us and I think all of us wanted for her to get back to Roanoke ok."

The media attention to this case spread nearly 3,000 miles across the country. More than 300 tips have come in within the past week but this time police knew they have found both Smith and her murdered mother's boyfriend Jeffery Easley.

"Brittany and Mr. Easley were apparently in a retail store where they were recognized by someone who had seen the wanted poster and the alerts," said Chief Lavinder. "They were located somewhere near a tent which was apparently within walking distance from the retail store."

Investigators are still trying to figure out how the two got to San Francisco in the first place. There's no word if Brittany was forced to go with Easley or why she was even missing for this long. Right now police are still not saying how Brittany's mother, Tina Smith, was killed. Easley is not charged with her death. Brittany does know that her mother is dead. She is expected to be back with family soon. As for Easley, he is under arrest and will likely be extradited back to Virginia within the next 30 to 60 days. We expect to know more about this case as investigators continue to talk with Brittany.

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