Man accused of beating, stomping and stabbing his wife to death in Hazelwood arrested
HAZELWOOD, Mo. (KMOV) - An arrest has been made for a man accused of beating, stomping, and stabbing his wife to death at a home in Hazelwood.
The search for 40-year-old Gregory Smith III has ended after he was taken into custody, police announced overnight Monday. He is charged with first-degree murder, armed criminal action, and endangering the welfare of a child.
Police tell News 4 the incident happened around 4:20 a.m. Sunday in the 800 block of Lightwood Drive. Neighbors told News 4 they woke to see the flashing lights from emergency vehicles and were shocked to hear what had happened.
“I just hope they catch him. It’s horrible,” said neighbor Dora Chini.
Smith III is accused of beating, stomping, and stabbing his wife, 37-year-old Cristina Garcia, to death. He then allegedly doused the home with gasoline before fleeing. Two children were home at the time, an infant and a child younger than 10.
According to Lt. Timothy Burger with Hazelwood police, the older child called 911 and told a dispatcher what happened.
“That there was an incident that occurred. And that his mother was, described serious injuries to his mother. And that he needed the police to come, and that his father was the perpetrator, and that he had left the scene,” said Burger.
Both children were taken to a hospital to be checked out. Detectives have been speaking with grandparents about taking custody of the children. The couple is originally from Washington state and moved to the St. Louis area several years ago.
Chini said she and another neighbor had a frightening encounter with Smith after his dog got out. She said a neighbor found it and tried to return it, but Smith slammed the door in his face. She said Smith came out of the house later carrying an AK-47 and demanding to know where his dog was.
Anyone with information should call police or Crimestoppers at 314-724-8477.
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