Houston law enforcement is on the hunt for fugitives, including a woman who police allege hired a man to beat her husband to death, then cut her ankle monitor and fled, evading law enforcement since 2009. The case of Margaret Lorrain Smith was featured on “The Hunt with John Walsh.”
Smith was listed among the Texas DPS Top 10 Most Wanted. The charges she faces are merely allegations. She is innocent until proven guilty. A reward of up to $7,500 and an additional reward of up to $5,000 is being offered for information leading to her arrest.
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Here’s what you need to know:
Smith Allegedly Lured Her Husband to the Beach, Where He Was Beaten Until He Was Unrecognizable
Smith, 62, has been wanted on capital murder charges for more than a decade after law enforcement allege she hired a man to kill her husband, George Smith. The Texas DPS said she lured her husband to Surfside Beach and left him sitting in the sand while the man she allegedly hired, Dylan Laughrey, beat him to death with a metal object from the underside of a car. Laughrey was convicted in the case. Smith was indicted in September 2007, but fled before her trial, law enforcement said.
The case was featured on CNN’s “The Hunt with John Walsh.” The couple was facing financial trouble in the years up to Smith’s murder, officials said on the show.
“George Smith was a well-liked and somewhat eccentric fixture in the small Texas coastal community of Surfside Beach. He was famous for his passion for surfing, and famous for opening a ramshackle burger joint, claiming to make the best burgers in the solar system,” CNN reported.
George and Lorrain Smith had a fourth child in Surfside Beach, and Smith closed his restaurant. They moved from Surfside Beach, and Lorrain Smith encouraged her husband to sell his property. He refused, intending to pass it on to his children, CNN reported. Lorrain Smith later found a young boyfriend, but her husband refused a divorce, family members said on the show. She attempted to forge documents to sell his property, and eventually asked her husband to dinner at their favorite Mexican restaurant the night before he was found brutally beaten on the beach, CNN reported.
“He loved her, and he wanted to get back with Lorrain, he would do anything for her,” Stephen Buchanan, a criminal investigator with the Brazoria County, said on the show.
Before her escape, she posted bail using her late husband’s property as collateral, CNN reported.
Smith Was Last Seen in the Parking Lot of a San Antonio Walmart Leaving in a Maroon Sedan
Smith has been on the run since August 11, 2009, when law enforcement said she fled Brazoria County after making bond, the Texas DPS said. She was observed on a surveillance video in the parking lot of a San Antonio area Walmart, where police said she entered a maroon four-door sedan that may have been a Lincoln Continental.
She is 5-feet 6-inches tall and weighs 165 pounds, police said. She has a mole on her bottom right eyelid. She has also used the names Lorrain Womble Smith and Margaret Lorraine Smith, police said.
CNN reported she has naturally dark, curly hair, but has been known to dye her hair and wear wigs. She may travel between the United States and Mexico, law enforcement said.