Missing Va. Girl, Alleged Kidnapper Found in Calif.

Jeff Easley suspected in death of girl's mother
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 11, 2010 7:55 AM CST
Missing Va. Girl, Alleged Kidnapper Found in Calif.
Brittany Mae Smith, 12, and Jeffrey Easley, 32.   (Roanoke County Police)

A 12-year-old Virginia girl missing for a week has been found on the opposite coast after authorities spotted Brittany Mae Smith in a San Francisco retail store with the man suspected of murdering her mother. "She is well and she is in good hands at this time," says Roanoke County Police Chief Ray Lavinder. "She's been in touch with her family. They're very relieved." Jeffrey Easley, 32, faces charges in the murder of his girlfriend Tina Smith, 42.

Police issued an Amber Alert on Dec. 6, after Smith was found dead in her home. Easley and Brittany were spotted on store surveillance in a Salem, Va., Walmart on Dec. 3, and the girl showed no signs of distress. Easley had begun an online relationship with Smith and moved in with mother and daughter in October; Brittany's latest MySpace update reads, "Brittany Easleys what they call me," notes ABC. "Hopefully, (Easley will) waive extradition and be back here with us in Virginia within the week," Lavinder said. (Read more Brittany Mae Smith stories.)

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