‘Bad smell’ leads police to dead child in Ohio, mother arrested on suspicion of murder

Mother arrested after ‘bad smell’ leads police to dead child in Ohio

DAYTON, Ohio — Firefighters found a child dead inside a Dayton, Ohio, apartment, and police arrested that child’s mother after receiving a call of a “bad smell” coming from an apartment Tuesday afternoon, according to public records.

Officers responded to an apartment complex on James H. McGee Boulevard around 2 p.m. after receiving a call from a neighbor who had concerns about a “bad smell” coming from one of the residences.

“I think there’s someone over there that’s deceased,” the caller told dispatchers.

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Dayton police said once they arrived at the apartment, they also requested the Dayton Fire Department to help.

“Out of a concern for the safety and well-being of anyone inside, the Dayton Fire Department was requested to the scene and assisted with entering the apartment,” Dayton police Lt. Jason Hall said. “Firefighters located the remains of a small child who had clearly been deceased for some time. A callout was then made for detectives from both the Dayton Police Department Special Victims Unit and the Homicide Unit.”

The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office was unable to release the age and name of the child; however a Dayton police report shows a child approximately 1 year old was involved. An autopsy will determine how long the child had been dead and how they died.

Police arrested the child’s mother, Wanisha Smith, 33, at a house in the 3200 block of Amanda Drive in Trotwood around 6:30 p.m. She was booked into jail on a preliminary charge of murder, but prosecutors have not approved formal charges, records show.

Several citizens helped lead police to Smith.

Police intend to present their investigation findings to the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office for consideration of formal charges in the case, Hall said.

Smith does have other children, none of whom police said live with her. Officers said those children are safe.

Wanisha Francine Smith
Wanisha Francine Smith (Contributed Photo/Montgomery County Jail)