Man pleads guilty in fatal kidnapping of 2-year-old Michigan girl in 2023

Mar 22, 2024, 12:24 PM

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan man pleaded guilty Friday to kidnapping and killing a 2-year-old girl whose disappearance last summer led to a 100-mile (161-kilometer) search that stretched from the state capital to the Detroit area.

Rashad Trice, 27, admitted that he took Wynter Cole Smith from her home in Lansing as part of a dispute with a former girlfriend who was the girl’s mother.

The girl was strangled with a phone cord and left in a Detroit alley last July, investigators said.

Trice was charged in federal court. While the kidnapping did not cross state lines, there was federal jurisdiction because the car and other tools used to carry out the crime, including a phone, were made outside Michigan, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

“My hope is this will give Wynter’s family, friends and all of the law enforcement partners who were and are still affected by this tragedy a sense of closure,” Lansing police Chief Ellery Sosebee said.

Until the girl’s remains were found, searchers had fanned out to look for her along a highway between Lansing and Detroit, an effort that involved divers, dogs, drones and helicopters.

Trice faces a sentence of life in prison. There are separate charges pending against him in state court.

United States News

Associated Press

Video of 2 bear cubs pulled from trees prompts North Carolina wildlife investigation but no charges

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A video of people pulling two bear cubs from a tree in North Carolina as one person posed for a photo with one of the wild animals prompted an investigation, but a state wildlife official said Friday that no charges will be filed. When North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission staff responded […]

18 minutes ago

Former President Donald Trump sits in a Manhattan Criminal Court on April 19, 2024. A full jury was...

Associated Press

Full jury of 12, with 6 alternates, seated for Donald Trump’s criminal trial

A full jury was seated Friday in Donald Trump’s hush money case, the first criminal trial for a former president in U.S. history.

43 minutes ago

Associated Press

Attorneys argue that Florida law discriminates against Chinese nationals trying to buy homes

An attorney asked a federal appeals court on Friday to block a controversial Florida law signed last year that restricts Chinese citizens from buying real estate in much of the state, calling it discriminatory and a violation of the federal government’s supremacy in deciding foreign affairs. Attorney Ashley Gorski, representing four Chinese nationals who live […]

48 minutes ago

Associated Press

A convicted rapist is charged with murder in the killing of a Connecticut visiting nurse

A convicted rapist was charged with murder and attempted sexual assault Friday in the killing of a visiting nurse at a Connecticut halfway house for sex offenders in October — a crime that spurred calls for better safety measures for home health care workers. Authorities added the charges against Michael Reese, 39, as he appeared […]

57 minutes ago

Associated Press

Catholic priest resigns from Michigan church following protests over his criticism of a gay author

BEAL CITY, Mich. (AP) — A Catholic priest has resigned as pastor of a church in a small central Michigan community, the result of weeks of controversy following his publicly expressed regret that a gay author had read a book to preschool children. Gay rights activists and others have held regular protests outside St. Joseph […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Judge drops some charges against ex-Minnesota college student feared of plotting campus shooting

NORTHFIELD, Minn. (AP) — A judge has dismissed some of the most serious charges against a former Minnesota college student who police and prosecutors feared was plotting a campus shooting. Waylon Kurts, of Montpelier, Vermont, who was then a student at St. Olaf College in Northfield, was charged last April with conspiracy to commit second-degree […]

2 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

Man pleads guilty in fatal kidnapping of 2-year-old Michigan girl in 2023