William Reece is the 12-year-old aspiring ballerina Laura Smither killer. The serial killer, rapist, and kidnapper is serving a life sentence in prison.
12-year-old rising ballerina Laura Smither disappeared on 3 April 1997. The young girl went out for a morning jog near her House in Friendswood, Texas.
As she didn’t return for a long time, her parents, Gay and Bob Smither searched all over but could not find their beloved baby girl.
Thousands of volunteers, including the U.S. Marines, assisted the parents in their hunt for their daughter, but they could find no sign of the missing kid.
It took 17 days for them to find Laura. Unfortunately, it was too late. The search team found the young girl’s decomposed body 12 miles away from home. What is more tragic is it took over two decades to bring Laura Smither’s killer, William Reece, to justice.
Where Is Laura Smither Killer, William Reece Now?
William Reece is a serial killer, rapist, and kidnapper who pleaded guilty in June 2022 to the murder of Laura Smither.
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The murderer confessed that he killed Laura Smither on 3 April 1997. William said that on a rainy day, he struck the ballerina with his vehicle accidentally.
He admitted placing the 12-year-old’s corpse in a lake. Later, Reece acknowledged killing the girl by strangling her.
More than 6,000 volunteers searched more than 800 square kilometers after she vanished. On 20 April 1997, seventeen days later, her body was located ten miles from her home in a local water retention pond.
The murderer is serving a life sentence in prison. According to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Reece is at Polunsky jail in Livingston, Texas.
William Reece’s Other Crimes And Charges
Laura was not the only victim of Reece. He killed three more women – Killi Cox, Tiffany Johnson and Jessica Cain – in 1997.
Serial killer William Reece pleads guilty to the cold-case murders. (Image Source: NY Post)
Reece kidnapped the 19-year-old daughter of a sheriff’s deputy and raped her in April 1986. He was arrested and charged, but Police released him after bail.
Years later, William became the suspect in another case again in the fall of 1997. He kidnapped and attempted to rape 19-year-old Sandra Sapaugh.
In 1998, William Reece was convicted of kidnapping and given a 60-year jail sentence. But the rapist’s crime series didn’t stop there.
In the early 2000s, the law compelled him to submit a DNA sample to be entered into CODIS. In 2015, he was linked to the murder case of Tiffany Johnston.
The jury found Reece guilty of murdering Tiffany soon after. Reece received sentenced to death in August 2021.
Texas Police were trying to talk to Reece about a possible link to the cases of Laura Smither, Kelli Cox, and Jessica Cain.
Before agreeing to talk further, the murderer wanted the death penalty off the table when Texas investigators visited him in prison. Jan Bynum concurred, as did The Smithers; they all desired to find out what happened to their daughters.
Authorities discovered the skeletal remains of Kelli Ann Cox, Jessica Cain, and Tiffany in Brazoria and Harris Counties.
Meet Laura Smither Parents – Bob And Gay Smither
Gay Smither and Bob Smither are Laura Smither’s mother and Father, respectively. They were left unfathomable by their beloved daughter’s sudden disappearance and death.
Laura Smither’s mother, Gay Smither (L). (Image Source: Spcoalition)
However, the late aspiring ballerina’s parents turned their pain into passion.
They established the Laura Recovery Center in April 1998. The non-profit organization works to stop kidnappings and abductions and recover victims of such events.
The center’s initial priorities included spreading awareness of child abduction, educating law enforcement, and organizing community searches. However, as of 2013, it is no longer involved in finding missing children.
Many community-led searches for kidnapped children have been coordinated by the Laura Recovery Center, including those for Danielle van Dam and Morgan Harrington.
The group’s first out-of-state search for van Dam involved hundreds of volunteers exploring deserts, highways, and rural locations for weeks.
It was one of California’s most significant volunteer search operations. Her body was discovered by a volunteer group the organization had arranged.
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