West Virginia Authorities Release Details Regarding Pursuit That Lead To Rescue Of Smyrna Woman


West Virginia Update

On Thursday, August 16, 2018, at approximately 8:45 in the morning, members of the West Virginia State Police Romney, Keyser, and Moorefield/Petersburg Detachments were notified of a “Be on the Lookout” from the Delaware State Police, according to West Virginia State Police Sergeant W. M. Roden.  

Roden said the troopers were advised that Steven R. Smith abducted his estranged wife, possibly at gunpoint, and had fled Delaware in a blue, 2002 Ford Focus, bearing Delaware registration. From 8:45 am to approximately 11:00 am, the troopers were advised that the subjects were in various places throughout Hardy and Grant counties but law enforcement officers were unable to locate the subjects.     

At approximately 11:10 am, Chief S. D. Reckart, of the Moorefield Police Department, located the vehicle traveling north on U.S. 220 S. in Moorefield.  Chief Reckart attempted to perform a traffic stop on that vehicle but Mr. Smith began to flee. Chief Reckart and members of the Hardy County Sheriff’s Department began pursuing the vehicle through various streets of Moorfield and eventually south on U.S. 220 S., towards Petersburg.  Troopers deployed stop-sticks at various locations along U.S. 220 S. which resulted in damage to the vehicle’s tires, but Mr. Smith refused to stop fleeing.

The suspect continued into Petersburg where Grant County Sheriff Brian Ours and Chief Deputy Steven Wratchford assumed the primary pursuit position.  Mr. Smith continued onto WV Route 28/55 (Keyser Avenue) where Sheriff Ours and Chief Deputy Wratchford attempted to perform a rolling roadblock. Mr. Smith struck both of those patrol cruisers, with his vehicle, which resulted in his vehicle sliding out of control and into an embankment.  As the officers approached the vehicle, it was discovered Mr. Smith succumbed to a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The victim was found in the rear seat of the vehicle and she was subsequently transported to Grant Memorial Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. No law enforcement officers or other citizens were injured.              

The incident is being investigated by the West Virginia State Police Moorefield/Petersburg Detachment.  

Delaware Update

Smyrna– The Delaware State Police are investigating an abduction that occurred in the Holly Hill Mobile Home Park, according to Public Information Officer, Master Corporal Melissa Jaffe.

jaffe said on Thursday, August 16, 2018, Troopers responded to Laurel Lane to check on the welfare of a 28-year-old female who lived at that residence. The victim’s boyfriend had received a call from her requesting help. He believed the victim had been abducted by her estranged husband, 26-year-old Steven Smith of Smyrna.

Upon arrival at the residence, Troopers located a damaged front door and immediately checked the interior, and did not locate the victim. It was learned that the victim and Smith had an extensive domestic history and he recently threatened to kill her.

Smith’s rental car was located in Holly Hills Mobile Home Park. It was learned that the victim and Smith were traveling in the victim’s vehicle, in the West Virginia area. The vehicle was located traveling in West Virginia, where a traffic stop was initiated, and a pursuit ensued. During the pursuit, Smith drove over stop sticks and struck two patrol vehicles. The vehicle eventually exited the roadway and became disabled.

Smith was found deceased in the vehicle with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The victim, also located in the vehicle, indicated that Smith had abducted and assaulted her, and indicated that he was going to kill her and then kill himself, sid Jaffe.

The victim was transported to a local area hospital with non-life threatening injuries.


About Staff Writer

First State Update's Delaware editorial team covers New Castle County, Kent County and Sussex County breaking news, political news, and general news stories. We bring the reader the latest news from the Wilmington, Newark, Dover, Rehoboth Beach and all point in between. If you have news to share, email us at [email protected].

View all posts by Staff Writer →