Alaska Man Charged With Murder After Memory Card Found in Street Allegedly Shows Woman's Killing

The memory card was labeled "homicide," according to the complaint

Brian Steven Smith
Photo: Loren Holmes/Anchorage Daily News/AP

A 48-year-old man in Alaska who police believe brutally beat and killed a woman and videotaped it has been charged with first-degree murder.

Brian Steven Smith was taken into custody Tuesday in the death of 30-year-old Kathleen J. Henry.

Henry’s remains were found near a highway south of Anchorage on Oct. 2.

Smith was arrested after a woman called Anchorage police on Sept. 30 informing them that she found an SD card in Anchorage’s Fairview neighborhood containing videos of a woman being strangled.

The memory card, she told police, was labeled “homicide,” according to an affidavit of the criminal complaint obtained by PEOPLE.

According to the complaint, the memory card contained several pictures and videos that allegedly showed what the tipster described as a male “beating her and raping her.”

SD card
A tipster found a memory card containing gruesome images and videos of the murder. David Caudery/Digital Camera Magazine/Future via Getty

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The tipster told police she believed that the video was taken at the midtown Marriott “as she had been there before and recognized the carpet pattern on the floor in the video,” the complaint states.

The detectives began an investigation and discovered the card contained 39 images and 12 videos, all date stamped Sept. 4.

The gruesome images showed the woman lying on a floor naked next to a bed with her left eye bruised and swollen shut, with red ligature marks on her neck, the complaint states.

The videos were equally disturbing. In one of them, “the person filming was slapping and strangling the female with his right hand around her neck,” the complaint states. “The female was moaning and struggling to breathe.”

The suspect could allegedly also be heard telling her that she needs to die.

According to the complaint, the suspect had an English-sounding accent and after investigators reviewed the videos and images, “[they] recalled from a previous investigation a male with an accent named Brian Smith.”

Investigators discovered that Smith, a South African immigrant, had allegedly stayed at the TownePlace Suites by Marriott from Sept. 2 to Sept. 4.

“The carpet in the images and videos matches this hotel’s carpet,” the complaint reads.

Detectives also obtained a search warrant for Smith’s cell phone which allegedly pinged within minutes of the timestamp on the SD card’s last photo of the victim.

Smith was taken into custody on Oct. 8 at the Ted Stevens International Airport. He was arraigned on Oct. 9 but it is not clear if he has entered a plea.

His bail has been set at $500,000 cash performance and $250,000 cash appearance.

Smith’s attorney declined to comment.

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