Memory card depicts woman’s killing in Alaska, leads to arrest of suspect

This Oct. 2, 2019, photo shows Anchorage Police investigating the scene where human remains were found at mile 108 of the Seward Highway in Anchorage, Alaska. A man, Brian Steven Smith, was in custody after videos were found on a digital memory card depicting a woman being assaulted and killed, police in Alaska said Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019. (Bill Roth/Anchorage Daily News via AP)
Updated 10 October 2019

Memory card depicts woman’s killing in Alaska, leads to arrest of suspect

  • Court records show the memory card, which someone last week reported finding on a street in Anchorage, contained 39 images and 12 videos

A digital memory card found on a street in Alaska’s largest city contained videos of a woman being strangled and pictures of her face down in the back of a truck, according to police and a charging document released Wednesday.
Anchorage police believe human remains found along a highway earlier this month are those of the woman. Authorities said they are working to identify her and her manner of death.
Police said they arrested Brian Steven Smith, 48, on a murder charge Tuesday. Smith had a brief court appearance Wednesday in which he was not asked to enter a plea. A judge said he would appoint for Smith a public defender when Smith said he could not afford a lawyer.
Deputy District Attorney Brittany L. Dunlop said the process calls for the case to be brought before a grand jury. The investigation continues.




Brian Steven Smith is shown being arraigned at the Anchorage Jail courtroom on Oct. 9, 2019.(Loren Holmes/Anchorage Daily News via AP)

A charging document filed by the Department of Law and based on a review of the investigation so far graphically describes the images and videos on the card, which someone last week reported finding on a street in Anchorage. The card contained 39 images and 12 videos, the document states.
The videos show the woman being strangled, with a man’s voice in one saying “just ... die,” according to the document. There are pictures of the woman under a blanket on a hotel luggage cart near a truck and in the truck bed, the document states.
Police spokesman MJ Thim said police believe Smith recorded the events himself. He said police believe the killing occurred in early September.
Smith lives in Anchorage but is from South Africa, Thim said.
Police reviewing the footage remembered Smith, who has an accent, from another investigation and found he was registered in early September to a room at a local hotel whose carpet matched that in the footage, the document says. They also used vehicle and cellphone records in their investigation.


Six killed as avalanche buries Indian patrol on disputed glacier

Updated 18 November 2019

Six killed as avalanche buries Indian patrol on disputed glacier

  • The disaster was the latest on the Siachen Glacier at more than 5,000 meters
  • Hundreds of troops from both sides have died in avalanches and from the fierce climate

SRINAGAR: An avalanche on Monday hit an Indian patrol in the world’s highest militarised zone in the Himalayas, killing four soldiers and two porters, an army spokesman said.
The disaster was the latest on the Siachen Glacier at more than 5,000 meters (16,500 feet) that is claimed by India and rival Pakistan.
Hundreds of troops from both sides have died in avalanches and from the fierce climate in the region over the past three decades.
An Indian military spokesman told AFP that the avalanche engulfed eight people in the patrol at the northern end of the glacier in the Karakoram mountain range.
Rescue teams managed to dig the patrol members out of the snow, and they were taken by helicopter to hospital.
“Despite best efforts, six casualties which includes four soldiers and two civilian porters succumbed to extreme hypothermia,” said the spokesman, Col. Rajesh Kalia.
Avalanches are common on the 700-square-kilometer (270-square-mile) glacier, where temperatures regularly fall to minus 60 degrees Celsius (-76 Fahrenheit).
In 2016, 10 Indian soldiers were buried and killed.
About 900 Indian soldiers alone have died on the glacier since 1984, when Indian forces took complete control of Siachen.
The glacier is located at the northern end of the Line of Control that divides Kashmir, which India and Pakistan have fought over since 1947.

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