Person of interest in kidnapping case dies

By Heartland News

ST LOUIS, MO (KFVS) - According to the Missouri Highway Patrol, the suspect in the kidnapping case of four-year-old Alisa Maier has died.

The man, Paul Serling Smith, 38, shot himself Wednesday afternoon and reportedly died late Wednesday night.

Sources close to the investigation say a store reported that Smith purchased clothing from the store, which lead officials to a property in Lincoln County, Missouri.

When police approached the property at 309 Highway D in Hawk Point, Smith apparently shot himself.

Smith also goes by Paul Steven Smith.  He is a convicted sex offender who was released from jail two weeks ago on drug charges.

Smith pleaded guilty to sodomy in 1995 and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.  The victim was 10 years old.

Smith at one point lived in an apartment in south St. Louis. Court records list his most recent address as 309 Highway D.

Copyright 2010 KFVS. All rights reserved. KMOV and CBS Newspath contributed to this report.