On Sunday, February 1, 2004, in Sarasota, Florida, 11-year-old Carlie Jane Brucia was on her way home from a sleepover at her friend's house. Her step-father, Steve Kansler, was on his way to pick her up in route but never found her. Carlie, deciding to cut through a car wash not far from her home, was approached by a man and led away, never to be seen alive again.
The surveillance camera at the car wash showed a man in a uniform type shirt approaching Carlie, saying something to her, and then leading her away. NASA, with technology used in the investigation of the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, assisted the investigation by working with the video to enhance the image. The FBI also worked to help find Brucia and the man who abducted her.
After receiving tips as to the identification of the man, the Sarasota police questioned Joseph P. Smith, who had been in their custody since the day after Carlie was abducted on an unrelated parole violation charge. A woman who said she lived with Smith was one of the tipsters who contacted the police. Smith refused to admit to any involvement with Carlie Brucia's disappearance until Thursday, February 5, when he finally told investigators where he hid her body.
On February 6, it was announced that Carlie Brucia's body had been found. She had been murdered and left in a church parking lot just miles from her home.
Joseph P Smith, a 37-year old car mechanic and father of three who had been arrested at least 13 times in Florida since 1993, and had been previously charged with kidnapping and false imprisonment, was held in custody as the main suspect in the murder of Carlie Brucia.
On February 20, Smith was indicted on a first-degree murder and separate charges of kidnapping and capital sexual battery were filed by the Florida attorney's office.
Joseph Smith was convicted of his crimes and now sits in Florida’s death row awaiting his death. TO READ THE FULL STORY GO TO: