2-year-old’s body found in alleyway - the search is over
The tragic case of missing 2-year-old Wynter Cole Smith has come to a heartbreaking conclusion. Her body was discovered in a Detroit alleyway, nearly three days after an Amber Alert was issued for her disappearance.
The family of Wynter Cole Smith has released a statement expressing their devastation and gratitude towards the authorities and volunteers. So many volunteers had tirelessly searched for Wynter. Tragically, a vibrant two-year-old has tragically died.
The toddler was found by Detroit police around 6:50 p.m. on Wednesday, July 5, in the area of Olympia Street and Erwin Avenue, marking a grim end to her two-and-a-half-day disappearance.
ClickOnDetroit reported that the family's statement, filled with sorrow and a call to action, was released to the public. They thanked the FBI, law enforcement, volunteers, and the Dock Ellis Foundation for their assistance and professionalism during this tragic time.
The family also called for legislative action to ensure that violent offenders remain incarcerated, in an effort to prevent such tragedies from befalling other families.
Family Statement and Public Vigil
Smith's family released the following statement, devastating the community searching for the child:
"We are heartbroken over the loss of our beautiful daughter, granddaughter, cousin, niece, and big sister, Wynter Cole Smith. Wynter’s brief but bright life was taken from her unnecessarily, and we will grieve her death forever. We wish to thank the FBI, all law enforcement, all the volunteers, and the Dock Ellis Foundation for their assistance, compassion, and professionalism. In remembering Wynter, we believe that it is necessary to help make sure that this kind of tragedy never again touches any other family. Anywhere. We asked the state legislature and Gov. (Gretchen) Whitmer to consider legislation that further ensures that multiple violent offenders remain in jail or prison, as they are tragically a threat to all of us."
The family is planning a public vigil in Wynter's memory, inviting the public to join them in prayer and remembrance.
We are heartbroken to learn the very sad news about 2-year-old Wynter Cole-Smith. Late yesterday, investigators announced that her body was found in Detroit, nearly 100 miles away from her home in Lansing, Michigan.
For the last few days, we all held out hope that Wynter would… pic.twitter.com/NDqy9InMa5
— National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (@MissingKids) July 6, 2023
Violent Incident and Amber Alert
The tragic series of events began when Lansing police were called to Wynter’s home late Sunday night. Rashad Maleek Trice, 26, of Detroit, had reportedly attacked Wynter’s 22-year-old mother, stabbing her multiple times.
The mother managed to escape and call for help from a neighbor. However, by the time the police arrived, Trice, Wynter, and the mother’s white 2013 Chevrolet Impala were gone. Wynter’s 1-year-old brother was found at the home, unharmed.
An Amber Alert was issued for Wynter around 2 a.m. Monday, providing information about Trice and the stolen Impala. The alert led to Trice's arrest after a police chase and subsequent crash. However, Wynter was not with Trice at the time of his arrest.
Trice was arraigned in the hospital on Wednesday. He is facing multiple charges, including assault with intent to murder, first-degree home invasion, unlawful imprisonment, aggravated domestic violence (second offense), unlawful driving away of an automobile, felonious assault, and two counts of first-degree criminal sexual assault.
He is being charged as a violent habitual fourth offender. Additional charges linked to Wynter’s disappearance are possible, pending the rest of the investigation.
Trice was uncooperative throughout the investigation. However, data from his cellphone revealed his movements between the attack in Lansing and his eventual arrest in St. Clair Shores. This information led investigators to the area where Wynter's body was eventually discovered.
Conclusion and Call to Action
The tragic case of Wynter Cole Smith has left a community in mourning and a family in devastation. As the investigation continues, the family's call for legislative action to prevent such tragedies serves as a stark reminder of the real-world consequences of violent crime.
- Wynter Cole Smith, a 2-year-old girl, was found dead in a Detroit alleyway, three days after an Amber Alert was issued for her.
- The family released a statement expressing their grief and gratitude towards the authorities and volunteers involved in the search.
- The family is planning a public vigil in Wynter's memory.
- Rashad Maleek Trice, the suspect in Wynter's disappearance, is facing multiple charges, including assault with intent to murder and first-degree home invasion.
- The family has called for legislative action to ensure that violent offenders remain incarcerated.