According to investigators, Ryan Smith, his wife, Lora Smith, and their son, Caleb, were pronounced dead last week — days after their killings
An argument between an American family and a shepherd in the country of Georgia ended tragically when a father and his 4-year-old son were fatally shot near the ravine where the boy’s mother plummeted to her death.
The Interior Ministry of Georgia issued a press release Monday about the July 4 killings.
According to investigators, Ryan Smith, his wife, Lora Smith, and their son, Caleb, were pronounced dead last week — days after their killings.
Search parties went looking for the Smiths and their son after they were reported missing by a friend. All three had obtained dual citizenship in Georgia and the United States.
The release states that officials started their search at Khada Gorge in the Dusheti region of Georgia. There, investigators found a car in Tskere village belonging to the Smiths, as well as some of their personal effects.
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Before long, authorities recovered Lora Smith’s body from the edge of a waterfall. The next day, they found Ryan Smith’s remains.
The 19-year-old suspect, who is not named in the statement, allegedly confessed to the killings.
He allegedly told detectives he shot Ryan and Caleb Smith with a hunting rifle.
Lora managed to flee the shooting scene, but died after falling into the ravine.
The suspect, the statement explains, allegedly hid the 4-year-old’s body “in an avalanche.”
The shepherd allegedly led police to Caleb’s body. He has been charged with premeditated murder and is facing a life sentence.
The statement does not address what fueled the animosity between the suspect and Ryan Smith, but Georgia Today reports the suspect may have sexually harassed Lora.
The Smiths had lived in Georgia for over a decade, earning dual citizenship in 2012.
According to Ryan Smith’s Facebook page, he was from San Diego, and had founded reWoven, a company that creates traditional handcrafted woven carpets.
The Smiths met in 2005 in the U.S. and married.
Lora Smith taught English through a Georgian government program.