Brittany Samone Smith's body was found near a river Monday, just days after she was reported missing

By Chris Harris
February 12, 2021 09:57 AM
Brittany Samone Smith
Brittany Samone Smith
| Credit: Brittany Smith Facebook

Authorities in North Carolina have arrested a couple, charging them with the murder of a missing pregnant mother of two, whose body was found stuffed in a suitcase on Monday.

Thomas Clayton Johnson, 37, and Emmalei Grace Trevathan, 24, were arrested Wednesday during a traffic stop, according to the Wake County Sheriff's Office.

Both are accused of killing Brittany Samone Smith, 28, who was last seen on February 4.

Johnson and Trevathan are each being held on charges of murder, murder of an unborn child, and concealment of a body.

It was unclear Friday if either had entered pleas to the charges they face, and lawyer information for the two defendants was also unavailable.

A statement from the sheriff's office fails to reveal what led the investigators on this case to the detained suspects.

Thomas Clayton Johnson; Emmalei Grace Trevathan
Thomas Clayton Johnson and Emmalei Grace Trevathan
| Credit: Wake County Sheriff's Office

The search for Smith began over the weekend.

"On Monday, the Wake County Sheriff's Office opened a homicide investigation, from a missing person's case, following the discovery of a body stuffed in a bag, near the shoreline of the Neuse River, in Raleigh," reads the statement.

Police allege Smith was strangled to death.

A motive has not been disclosed.

Smith's cousin, Brooke Pinel-Fereol, spoke to WTVD, and said only "monsters" could've killed a pregnant woman.

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"Evil people," Pinel-Fereol insisted. "None of that should have happened to her at all. Brittany was a good person, a good mom, a good granddaughter."

The cousin said Smith loved dancing and her two kids.

Police ask that anyone with any information on the murder come forward as soon as possible by contacting the Wake County Sheriff's Department at (919) 856-6911.