Tonita Lorice Smith, a victim of the notorious “Shopping Cart Killer.” Explore the details surrounding her murder in Harrisonburg and the subsequent arrest of Anthony Robinson.
What happened to Tonita Lorice Smith?
Tonita Lorice “Nita” Smith, a 39-year-old resident of Charlottesville, was discovered deceased in Harrisonburg on Wednesday, November 25. The shocking news adds to the already heavy burden this family has endured, as Smith was the aunt of Sage Smith, who went missing in November 2012.
Smith’s lifeless body was found in close proximity to another woman in a vacant lot near the junction of Route 33 and Interstate 81. The second victim was identified as Elizabeth Redmon, 54, of Harrisonburg. The Harrisonburg Police Department has confirmed that Smith and Redmon met their unfortunate fates at different times.
The devastating loss of Nita Smith has left her grieving family with numerous unanswered questions. As of now, their bodies are undergoing examination at the Virginia Medical Examiner’s Office, where experts will determine the causes and precise times of their deaths.
HPD has released a statement about the victims
the Harrisonburg Police Department (HPD) has officially identified the victims as Allene Elizabeth Redmon, a 54-year-old resident of Harrisonburg, and Tonita Lorice Smith, a 39-year-old woman from Charlottesville.
HPD has taken swift action, arresting Anthony Robinson, a 35-year-old Washington, D.C. resident, on Tuesday.
Robinson now faces serious charges, including two counts of first-degree murder, as well as two felony counts of concealing, transporting, or altering a dead body.
Based on their investigation thus far, HPD has determined that Robinson acted alone in the heinous crimes. As a result, they are not currently seeking any additional suspects related to this shocking incident.
HPD was conducting two separate missing persons investigations
The Harrisonburg Police Department (HPD) and the Charlottesville Police Department were simultaneously conducting separate missing persons investigations. Their efforts ultimately converged, pointing them toward the Linda Lane vicinity as a potential location linked to the disappearances of both Allene Elizabeth Redmon and Tonita Lorice Smith. Tragically, their search efforts led to a devastating discovery.
Detectives from the Harrisonburg Police Department’s Major Crimes Unit unearthed the bodies of Redmon and Smith in an undeveloped lot situated just off Linda Lane. Although the victims’ deaths occurred at different times, the proximity of their remains raised grave concerns and heightened the urgency of the investigation.
In order to ascertain the exact causes and times of death, the Virginia Medical Examiner’s Office has taken charge of the comprehensive forensic investigation.
GoFundMe Campaign Aims to Alleviate Financial Burden for Grieving Family of Tonita Lorice Smith
In the wake of the heart-wrenching news of Tonita Lorice Smith’s untimely demise, her dear friend Kimberly and the Smith family have launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for Nita Smith’s funeral expenses.
“This is just not an expense that anyone was prepared for,”she says.
A day before Thanksgiving, we had to face the devastating news that our sister and friend, Nita, was taken from us in a senseless, unspeakable tragedy. We are heartbroken, and trying to find ways to process this as the pain hits extra hard as it happens during the same time of year when we are reminded that our beloved, Sage Smith, disappeared not to return as of nine years ago this week. After burying their aunt, 10 days ago, this family has to deal with immeasurable pain. Six young children lost their mother in the height of the holiday season, and it will be unimaginable to deliver this news and bear the brunt of financial obligations among other things.Family states about her death
The aim is to rally community support and alleviate the financial burden faced by the grieving family. The funds raised through this compassionate effort will contribute directly to covering the costs associated with Nita Smith’s funeral. Until now the fundraising has stopped and raised $8,197.
Shopping Cart Killer “Anthony Robinson”
The discovery of four remains in two different places throughout Virginia is being attributed to a serial murderer who used a shopping cart to transport his victims’ bodies after meeting them on dating websites, according to Virginia police.
Fairfax County Authorities Chief Kevin Davis nicknamed the suspect, 35-year-old Anthony Robinson of Washington, D.C., the “shopping cart murderer” at a press conference on Friday. He said police are investigating whether there are any additional victims.
Robinson, who was arrested in Rockingham County last month, has lived in several places in recent years, including New York and Maryland, according to Davis.
Robinson was arrested and charged with two counts of murder by Harrisonburg police last month after two bodies were discovered in a vacant area in the city. The discovery of four remains in two different places throughout Virginia is being attributed to a serial murderer who used a shopping cart to transport his victims’ bodies after meeting them on dating websites, according to Virginia police.
Police searched an area near the Moon Inn in Fairfax County, south of Alexandria, after discovering evidence following Robinson’s arrest.
Detectives observed a shopping cart during the search and remembered that a cart had been used to transfer the victims in the Harrisonburg cases, according to Ed O’Carroll, commander of Fairfax County’s serious crimes team.
Police say they’re looking into Robinson’s life over a long period
The three victims that have been identified have all been missing for some months. Police say they’re looking into Robinson’s life over a long period to determine if there are any more victims.
Robinson has not offered investigators any form of cooperative statement since his arrest, according to Harrisonburg Police Chief Kelley Warner. According to Warner, police apprehended him pretty quickly after the victims were discovered in Harrisonburg, based on video surveillance and cellphone records.
Louis Nagy, Robinson’s lawyer, declined to comment on the substance of the allegations brought against his client in Harrisonburg. Robinson has not yet been prosecuted in Fairfax County, but police have stated that charges would be filed soon.
Robinson met all three victims who have been identified through online dating services. His dating history, police believe, may reveal information about any additional victims.
The victims were not S*xually assaulted, according to police, but Davis claimed flatly during the press conference that the culprit performed “unspeakable things with his victims.”
Tonita Lorice Smith, 39, of Charlottesville, and Allene Elizabeth Redmon, 54, of Harrisonburg, were previously identified as the two women found dead in Harrisonburg.
Where is Shopping Cart Killer “Anthony Robinson” now?
Anthony Robinson, infamously known as the “Shopping Cart Killer,” currently resides in the Rockingham County Adult Detention Center, where he faces multiple charges related to the alleged murders of Allene Elizabeth Redmon and Tonita Lorice Smith. Harrisonburg Police Chief Kelley Warner disclosed that the lifeless bodies of the two women were discovered in an open lot, having been transported there using a shopping cart—a method believed to be employed by Robinson.
Robinson’s confinement at the detention center stems from the charges of murder and felony disposal of human remains, with which he has been formally charged. However, the legal proceedings are far from over. Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis revealed that pending charges are expected to be filed in Fairfax County, suggesting a broader scope to the investigation.