Police ID Northwood murder victim

Published 11:06am Wednesday, August 7, 2013

NORTHWOOD — Authorities have released the name of a woman who was reportedly stabbed and killed Monday morning in Northwood’s Swensrud Park.

Justina Marie Smith, 30, of Northwood, died from multiple sharp-force injuries, according to the result of an autopsy on Tuesday.

Police arrested Tyrone Washington Jr., 39, of Mason City, after a vehicle chase near Davenport, Iowa.

He has been charged with first-degree murder, a Class A felony, and is being held in the Scott County jail on a $500,000 cash-only bond.

Smith and Washington reportedly knew each other, said Mike Krapfl, spokesman with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigations, but authorities are still trying to establish the relationship. Krapfl said authorities also are trying to determine how Smith and Washington got to the park and if they went together.

The Worth County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call for help at 11:41 a.m. Monday from Smith, according to a news release. When deputies responded, they found Smith with severe injuries, and who said Washington had fled the scene and taken her car, a silver 2003 Pontiac Grand Prix.

The Mason City Fire Department transported the woman to Mercy Hospital North Iowa in Mason City, according to the release.

At about 3:30 p.m., an Iowa state trooper saw the Pontiac eastbound on Interstate 80 in Cedar County. The trooper tried to stop the car, and a pursuit began, the release states.

Washington reportedly left the road in Scott County, about 13 miles into the chase, and drove through corn and soybean fields along the interstate.

During the pursuit, troopers used intentional vehicle contact, damaging the Pontiac and the State Patrol cars.

Washington was arrested without injury.

Worth County District Court online records indicate Washington was charged with domestic abuse assault and interference with official acts on July 6. He also was charged with violating a no-contact order as recently as Aug. 1, but that charge was dismissed.


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