Ryan and Lora Smith with their 4-year-old son Caleb were killed in mountainous Georgia on July 6, the Interior Ministry confirmed on Monday.
American Couple and Their 4-Year-Old Kid Killed in Georgia
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, July 10
The ministry stated that the suspect, 19-year-old shepherd from the Khada Gorge of Georgia in the east of the country, was detained on July 9, who shot Ryan and Caleb dead.
Police said that Lora tried to escape when she fell down from a cliff and died.
Lora was the first who was found dead next to a waterfall on July 6, after some people called police and said that they could not contact the family in the Gorge.
Police claims that the reason of the crime was a dispute between Ryan and the suspect M.K. However, the Interior Ministry did not name the reason behind the dispute.
The local media reports that the reason of the dispute was the shepherd’s offensive gesture to Lora Smith, when he accompanied the couple to the waterfall in the Khada Gorge.
The local media outlets also claim that the shepherd killed the little boy as he was crying and after shooting, the suspect buried Caleb’s body.
On July 6 the Interior Ministry stated that the bodies of Ryan and Lora Smith had no signs of violence, while on July 9 the ministry announced in a briefing that Ryan Smith were shot with a gun.
Police launched the case for negligence to life and “after an autopsy was conducted” on Ryan and Lora Smith, the case was re-qualified for premeditated murder in aggravated circumstances.
The detainee is facing life imprisonment if he is deemed mentally fit.
The Smith family had lived in Georgia more than six years and in 2012 they received Georgian citizenship.
They lived in the Marneuli region of Georgia in the south-east of the country. Ryan Smith was the founder of the Rewomen, which creates Caucasian rugs with traditional methods to revive the lost art for the benefit of its weavers and their community.
The locals of Marneuli told the media that the Smith family had many Georgian friends and were very helpful. Marneuli residents said the Smiths intended to build a playground with their own money.