Murder Suspect Arrested After 33 Years
RICHMOND – 33 years after children discovered their mother, 25-year-old Marsha Carter, missing from their Santa Clara Street home and her bed soaked with blood, Richmond police announced a few days ago that a man has been arrested for her murder to finally close the case.
Sherill Smothers, 54, of Granite Bay (Placer County) was arrested in September before being transported and booked in Richmond. He was taken to the Martinez Detention Facility where he was held, until he posted more than $1 million bail and was released.
Smothers has been charged with the murder of Carter, according to Richmond police Lt. Felix Tan. Working with the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office, Richmond police identified the suspect, after reviewing witness interviews and evidence, which resulted in a Grand Jury indictment. “Our detectives are constantly reviewing old cases,” Tan said.
The sons (then aged 11, 9, and 7) went to a neighbor’s house for help, because their mother and 10-month old brother were missing. The neighbor subsequently found their baby brother lying on the floor under the bed.
Carter’s body was found 10 days later on December 17, 1983, in the trunk of her own car in West Sacramento. Richmond police were unable to identify a suspect at the time, but detectives began reviewing the homicide again in 2008, working on this case between other active investigations, Tan said.
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