By Diana Hefley and Eric Stevick Herald Writers
BOTHELL — A Bothell man whose estranged wife was found dead in February in the bathtub at their former home was arrested Thursday morning in connection with the killing.
Alan Smith was expected to be booked into the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of first-degree murder.
Smith, 37, has been the prime suspect in the bludgeoning and stabbing death of his wife, Susann Smith.
Police showed up at Smith’s door around 8:25 a.m. to make the arrest. He offered no resistance.
“This has been an extensive ongoing investigation,” Bothell police Sgt. Ken Seuberlich said. “He went from a person of interest to a suspect about a week ago.”
Smith was arrested last week after he reportedly refused to turn over his passport to Bothell detectives after they showed up with a court order. That same day, police collected his footprints. That sample was expected to be compared to footprints found at the homicide scene.
The body of Susann Smith, 37, was discovered Feb. 12 after she didn’t show up for work.
She and her husband were engaged in a bitter divorce, including a dispute over the custody of their two young children.
Their children were taken into state custody shortly after the slaying. They were not in the home when Alan Smith was arrested.
He quickly became a suspect in his wife’s death, according to numerous search warrants filed during the investigation. Police have collected his fingerprints and DNA. They’ve also searched the apartment where he was living at the time of the killing, his workplace and vehicle.
A short time after his wife was found dead, Alan Smith moved back into the couple’s Bothell house. He was accompanied by his new girlfriend, who last week told a Seattle television station that Alan Smith may be capable of killing his wife.
The pair also were the subject of complaints from neighbors about sexual activity spotted outside the house, Bothell police said.
Officers have been called to the man’s home about five times in recent weeks for various reported disturbances involving Smith and his new girlfriend, Love Thai.
She has for weeks been posting photographs and videos to Facebook, documenting developments in the case, including his arrest last week and later release from jail after posting bail. A few hours ago, Thai posted that she is pregnant.
On Wednesday, she posted a video of the pair driving along Seattle-area freeways, listening to music and talking.
At one point, Alan Smith engaged in a soliloquy about the distress he felt over how the courts handled his divorce.
“Let me tell you a little bit about how my life has been in the past four or five months, or maybe longer,” he said. “So, as I was struggling with the divorce case and I found that the divorce lawyers were steering me, I got overcome with the shame that I was failing my family because the family law system was literally steering me away from my children, ignoring the evidence that I brought that they were suffering. … I started feeling incompetent and ashamed.”
The camera later captured Smith crying as he drove, and telling Thai, “There is nothing in this world that can make you unworthy.”
Seuberlich said it took time to assemble sufficient evidence to support Thursday’s arrest. Smith is expected to have a bail hearing on Friday.
“I would like to thank the neighbors for their patience and assistance in this investigation,” Seuberlich said Thursday. “I just appreciate the trust they showed.”