Christopher Smith sent weird e-mails from Africa, it just didn’t sound like him. And to just take off like that…
The last time anyone saw Chris was in June 2010, and before long the e-mails started. He said it was great to sand-board on the African dunes, or paraglide near Johannesburg. Now he is headed for the Congo?
Chris is very chatty, yet there were no details, no “Hi, how are you?” Not only that, Chris never said anything to anyone about a trip to Africa. Something strange was going on.
The last his friends and family knew 32yr. old Chris was at work. He and Edward Shin had started an advertising company called “The 800Xchange” which centered around high performance radio campaigns.
Maybe Chris wouldn’t have done it had he known about his 33yr. old buddy’s past. Edward was convicted of embezzlement and ordered to pay $700,000 in restitution.
They agreed that Edward would pay Chris one million dollars for his interest in the company. Next thing ya know, Chris disappeared.
Officials in California declare that is when Edward murdered Chris in the office and a couple of months later rattled off the phony e-mails.
Jim Amormino, spokesman for Orange County Sheriff’s Department, confided that “The e-mails were short and sweet … they were just too generic.”
The last one about the Congo came in December 2010. The spokesman said, “I guess Shin’s thought process was the Congo was dangerous and something must have happened to him there.”
Edward Shin’s attorney won’t comment and his wife’s phone is disconnected.
It was too much for the family and they hired a private investigator. He told the U.S. Embassy in different African countries about the e-mails and checked the International press for any sign of Chris.
The local police filed a missing person report in April, and the sheriff’s department took the case on August 17th.
Investigators went to Chris and Edward’s old office at a business park in San Juan Capistrano. It had been professionally cleaned and painted; still they found traces of blood and used DNA testing to confirm it belonged to Chris.
They started to keep tabs on Edward, finally arrested him at Los Angeles Airport on August 28th just before he hopped aboard a flight to Canada. Investigators didn’t say if the ticket was one-way.
It took only six hours for detectives to get Edward to give it up. Only he wouldn’t say where he hid the body.
Kenny Kraft was arrested on August 29th on suspicion of being an accessory after the fact and for the assist in disposal of the victim’s belongings. Chris’ Range Rover was eventually found in San Jose.
All for the love of money.
May Your Glass Always Be Half Full