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COURT DOCS: Suspect beat, drowned victim before staging scene as overdose

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Terry Smith Jr.
Terry Smith Jr.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) — Newly released reports on a homicide at an extended stay hotel show the suspect attempted to stage the murder as an overdose.

Court documents say police arrived at the Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, 3320 W Coliseum Blvd., Monday at 8:48 a.m. and found a woman dead in a bathtub with obvious signs of physical injuries to her body.

Officers say they spoke with a witness who said she saw victim Tiffany Ferris, 35, in the storage room of the Suburban Extended Stay Hotel with suspect Terry Smith, Jr.

The court documents say the witness told detectives Smith got upset with Ferris for stealing and using his narcotics. She said Smith struck Ferris repeatedly on the head before standing on her neck and kicking her.

The court papers say she told police Smith made her help tape up Ferris' arms and legs before Smith held her head under the water, killing her.

Smith allegedly then told the witness he was going to stage the scene to look like an overdose.

The court documents say she told police that Smith put drug paraphernalia in the room, burned some of the tape they used, cut some bloodstains out of the carpet, and removed Ferris' clothes.

The court documents quote police as saying the crime scene was consistent with the witnesses' statements.

Smith is preliminarily charged with murder, and is being held without bond until a hearing scheduled for next Wednesday.

He is also charged with armed robbery and criminal confinement for an incident that police say happened at another Fort Wayne hotel shortly after Ferris' body was discovered.

Jazlynn Bebout

Jazlynn Bebout is the Assignment Desk Editor and Digital Editor at WPTA. Follow her on Twitter @jazlynnsb

Corinne Rose

Corinne Rose is a reporter for WPTA.

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