Suspect sought in terrifying kidnapping, assault

Marcus Wayne Smith, 35, is charged with aggravated sexual assault

August 30, 2011 3:56:20 PM PDT
We have new developments in a violent kidnapping, rape, robbery and shooting of a woman we first told you about last month. Police have identified a suspect and they're now trying to hunt him down.

Marcus Wayne Smith, 35, is charged with aggravated sexual assault. He has a criminal history that now has a new chapter. It started last month when police say Smith was hiding in the shadows of an apartment complex in southwest Houston.

The woman was kidnapped at around 3am on July 21 at an apartment complex in the 9800 block of Meadowglen. She was later found shot along the Sam Houston Tollway near Almeda.

"She was entering her apartment. She had just taken her key out and sticking it in the door when she was approached by a man with a mask and a gun," said prosecutor Nathan Moss.

According to court documents, the man, who police have identified as Smith, then forced the victim into some nearby bushes where he sexually assaulted her. The woman told police that after that, he forced her to empty her purse and took an unknown amount of money.

Police say Smith then took the victim to her vehicle and had her drive him to a nearby ATM and withdraw $80, which he took from her. Smith then reportedly took the victim back to her apartment where he went inside with her.

Once inside, the victim was ordered to remove her clothes. According to court documents, the woman's face was covered and her hands and feet bound together behind her, as Smith sexually assaulted her again.

The victim says Smith then ordered her to get dressed and forced her back in the vehicle on the passenger floor board. Smith stopped at an undisclosed location, and again reportedly sexually assaulted the victim.

Court documents state that Smith ordered the victim to get into the trunk, and he drove around for roughly two hours before stopping at an entryway to the Lone Star Landfill at 4701 S. Sam Houston Parkway. There, he ordered the victim out of the trunk, took her dress off and wrapped it around her head. The woman says he forced her to go approximately a quarter-mile down the entrance to the landfill.

The victim told police she began to beg for her life and refused to walk any further. She told police that's when Smith began to try to strangle her with a blouse he had apparently taken from her vehicle.

During a struggle, the prosecutor says she pulled off his mask.

Smith then regained control of the victim, who was again able to get free. She ran back towards the South Sam Houston Parkway, but says Smith caught her as she was trying to flee under a gate, dragged her by her feet across the drive into a field.

"She broke free a third time, he sat on top of her and shot her once in the back and left her there," said Moss.

She lost consciousness and later woke up to find the suspect had fled, taking her vehicle.

How she called for help, the prosecutor says, is unclear. But she survived and gave enough information to create a composite drawing of the suspect, which was released to the media.

Investigators later learned that as recently as 2010, Smith lived in the same apartment complex.

Last week, a Crime Stoppers tip call put a name to the face and she picked Smith's picture out of a photo lineup.

Now Smith has to be found and arrested.

"He has ties to both Houston and Beaumont, Jefferson County, Texas. He's known to frequent the Richmond, South Gessner area, and also Beaumont, Texas," said Officer Reuben Zermeno with HPD Special Crimes. "I consider him especially violent and dangerous."

Among the agencies looking for Smith are Houston Police Department, the Gulf Coast Violent Offenders Task Force and the U.S. Marshal's Service for the Eastern District of Texas.

Anyone with information as to Smith's whereabouts is asked to call 911 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS. Police caution not to approach Smith yourself.

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