Woman accused of murdering daughter in Cannon Beach arrested - WNEM TV 5

Woman accused of murdering daughter in Cannon Beach arrested

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Jessica Smith was caught in a heavily forested area 15 miles from the crime scene on Sunday. Jessica Smith was caught in a heavily forested area 15 miles from the crime scene on Sunday.
Jessica Smith had been missing since her 2-year-old daughter was found dead in a Cannon Beach hotel room. Jessica Smith had been missing since her 2-year-old daughter was found dead in a Cannon Beach hotel room.
Photo of Isabella and Alana Smith provided by family. Photo of Isabella and Alana Smith provided by family.
Balloons were left at a makeshift memorial outside the Surfsand Resort in Cannon Beach where a 2-year-old girl was found dead in what has been ruled a homicide. Balloons were left at a makeshift memorial outside the Surfsand Resort in Cannon Beach where a 2-year-old girl was found dead in what has been ruled a homicide.
CANNON BEACH, OR (KPTV) -

A woman who had been missing since her 2-year-old daughter was found dead in a Cannon Beach hotel room was caught in a heavily forested area 15 miles from the crime scene on Sunday.

An aggravated murder arrest warrant was issued Sunday for the toddler's mother, Jessica Smith, 40, of Goldendale, WA. 

Police said there were no other suspects in the case.

During a 10 p.m. press conference Sunday , police said Smith was found in her Chevy Suburban on a logging road off Highway 26 with the assistance of the U.S. Coast Guard. Investigators believe she had been there since Friday.

Police said Smith was taken into custody without incident at 5:30 p.m. They said she did not have a weapon and appeared to be unharmed.

Investigators did not release any details about what she said or her demeanor following her arrest.

An autopsy on 2-year-old Isabella Smith determined that her death was a homicide. However, police said the cause of death was undetermined and pending a toxicology report.

Investigators said there were no outward signs of abuse.

Isabella was found dead at the Surfsand Resort on Friday morning. Her 13-year-old sister, Alana, was also in the room and suffered "critical cuts." She remained at a Portland hospital on Sunday.

Police said she has been able to speak to family members, as well as detectives. It was not revealed what, if any, information she provided that might be able to assist in this investigation.

"She has been advised that her mother is OK," Clatsop County District Attorney Joshua Marquis said regarding the 13-year-old girl Sunday night.

According to court documents obtained by Fox 12, her husband filed to end their marriage on June 30. She then filed a restraining order against him on July 17.

Jessica Smith's brother, Nathan Judd, last spoke with his sister on the phone about a week ago, but said she came to his Medford home recently to visit his family and brought both daughters with her.

"She was dressed well and super-happy, outgoing, all smiles," said Judd. "You could tell she loved her daughters dearly."

But Judd said he could tell his sister was troubled.  She admitted she was struggling with the breakup of her marriage, and asked him to take care of her pets. Judd said his sister had been staying with her daughters at various hotels in the Vancouver area.

According to Greg Smith's attorney, Nathan Petersen, his client was seeking shared custody of the kids and had expressed concern about Jessica Smith's mental state. Petersen said his client requested a psychological evaluation before a judge made a decision about how to place the children.  

Petersen said Jessica Smith was supposed to hand the children off to their father for visitation the day they were found in their bloody Cannon Beach hotel room.

Judd, shocked to hear what had happened to his nieces, had trouble believing his sister was capable of such violence.

"I can't imagine my sister ever doing something like that," said Judd. "She had a heart of gold, and growing up, she never harmed anyone or anything and never spoke of such a thing."

Police said the children's father is cooperating with the investigation and is not a suspect or a person of interest in this case.

Jessica Smith is expected to appear in court monday on the charges of aggravated murder and attempted aggravated murder.

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