A memory card that someone picked up off the ground in Anchorage led to the arrest of a city resident this week on a first-degree murder charge, reports the New York Times. The card, which the police say a woman discovered and turned over to them on Sept. 30, contained videos and pictures of a man beating and strangling a woman in a midtown hotel room. Two days later a caller informed police that human remains had been found outside the city, about 18 miles from the hotel that was the setting in the videos and pictures found. “We had two investigations going on,” said MJ Thim, a police spokesman.
The police believe that the woman seen in the photos and videos on the memory card is the same woman whose remains were found Oct. 2. As police detectives reviewed images on the memory card, they recognized the man seen in them from a previous investigation. The police checked with the hotel and learned that the man had been registered to a room there from Sept. 2 to Sept. 4. The carpet seen in the hotel room where the murder took place matches the hotel that the police visited. On Tuesday, the authorities arrested the man, Brian Steven Smith, 48, of Anchorage, as he arrived at the Ted Stevens International Airport. Smith is being held in jail with bail set at $500,000. The memory card contained 39 images and 12 videos, all of graphic nature.