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After a girl's murder, justice follows despair

The Post's Neely Tucker has a story today about Carol Smith, mother of a 9-year-old girl who was killed in 2002. It's the first of two parts.

From Tucker's story:

Erika Georgette Smith was a gorgeous 9-year-old with long black hair and dark brown eyes and honey-brown skin. She loved her cats Pounce and Floppy. She was thin and shy and popular. She was a girlie girl but liked to think of herself as a sporty girl.
Late on the night of Aug. 6, 2002, she was pistol-whipped and shot to death at point-blank range by a man who broke into her father's house in Silver Spring.
The bullet ripped through the back of her neck, down through her heart and out of her chest and hit the floor with such force it left a divot. The killer shot her dad, Greg Russell, an accountant, six times. The killer ran. No motive would ever be known. Greg died after calling 911.
The next morning, Erika's mother, Carol Smith, was at her law office, where she was a director of information technology. She was expecting a giggly phone call from the pair, as Erika was visiting Greg so he could take her to get braces. The phone rang, but it was the human resources director.

You can read the full story on

By Washington Post Editors  |  January 20, 2010; 11:14 AM ET
Categories:  From the Post  
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