Axcess News

Local Person Of Interest Is Federal Suspect

Well, that is one way to make progress in a case.

Usually, federal and local authorities can work together with certain crimes, including bank robberies, missing persons, Internet sex crimes, and sex-trafficking or drug-trafficking rings.

Other than that, federal and local entities tend to be separate from each other. But once in a while, there can be a serendipitous occasion where local authorities capture a federal fugitive and situations where federal authorities catch a local suspect in relation to a separate case.

In Texas, that happened recently, when federal authorities caught a person for federal drug charges – a person who is considered a “person of interest” in an unsolved local murder.

This is not to assume that this person committed the local felony, but there is a general correlation when a person commits a felony at the local, state or federal level, odds are he or she may commit another felony at some point in life without dramatic reform to behavior.

The individual, Darnell Smith, recently pleaded guilty to federal charges after being caught selling several pounds of drugs on the street. He is someone local authorities have been looking to interview regarding the kidnapping and eventual stabbing death of Mikayla Mitchell, who was 17 years old at the time of her death in the summer of 2017.

Mitchell initially escaped her captors’ car before later being found dead in a local park a week after the initial incident. When she escaped the previous week, several occupants of the car ran into the woods, and Smith was believed to be one of those captors. Authorities believe he has information regarding the murder the following week, and now local authorities will look for an opportunity to interview Smith from behind bars in a federal penitentiary.

Smith was caught with several pounds of meth, cocaine and marijuana is his home, from where he was selling. The actual connection between Smith and Mitchell is not directly known, nor is his relationship to the other suspects known other than allegedly being in the vehicle at the time of the initial kidnapping and assault.

Investigators so far find only coincidence that Mitchell is the stepdaughter of a local pain-management doctor named Dr. Howard Diamond. Diamond is in federal prison for administering pain medications without a prescription for no medical reason, and those medications resulted in the overdosing deaths of seven people.

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