Man who committed suicide linked to 2002 murder of Loudoun Count - Atlanta News, Weather, Traffic, and Sports | FOX 5

Man who committed suicide linked to 2002 murder of Loudoun County girl

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A Christmas tree decorates the Smiths’ home in the middle of summer. It symbolizes the first Christmas the family spent in their Ashburn home without Erica Smith because the 14-year-old went missing on July 29, 2002.

Eleven days later, investigators found her body. Now, 12 years after her murder, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office says they have a suspect.

“For 12 years we didn't have a face, and now we have a face to go with this vicious crime,” said Pamela Smith, the victim’s mother.

Police are not publicly releasing the suspect's name because he committed suicide. So they can't formally charge him with the murder of Erica Smith.

“He’s just a monster, a very evil monster,” said William Smith, the victim’s father. “And I have no sympathy whatsoever. We're glad he's not here anymore and that's putting it lightly.”

Investigators did reveal the suspect's identity to the victim's family. The Smiths say they feel cheated that the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office isn't going public with the information.

FOX 5 is also withholding the suspect's name because he was never charged. But Erica Smith's family says the man was from Herndon and was 18 years old in 2002 when he preyed on the 14-year-old.

He tried to have a relationship with Erica and then allegedly killed her. Then last year, days after the anniversary of Erica’s death, he committed suicide.

The Smith family believes it was because investigators had reopened the cold case and were closing in on him.

“The suspect, which is now deceased, which I have no remorse for because he was a coward when he killed my daughter, and he was a coward when he took his own life,” said Pamela.

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