Kirkland poisoning suspect in 2006 case arrested in London
December 8, 2008 · Updated 3:16 PM
A prime suspect on the lam in a notorious 2006 Kirkland murder has been captured abroad, according to the U.S. Marshal’s Service.
Murder suspect Janjira “Jenny” Jeffrey Smith, 51, was detained by United Kingdom Customs and Immigration in London, England Dec. 4 for the poisoning death of local resident Roger Lewis, shortly after arriving on a flight from Geneva, Switzerland. The arrest was made based on cooperative agreements between Interpol and the U.S. Marshals Service sponsored Pacific Northwest Fugitive Apprehension Task Force (PNWFAT).
King County Superior Court first issued an arrest warrant for Smith in November 2006 for the murder of Lewis on October 7, 2006. Kirkland Police believe Smith poisoned both Lewis and his girlfriend, Thanyarat Sengpharaghanh (aka Nina), with a tainted bottle of Jagermeister. Lewis had recently ended a romantic involvement and the victim began a new relationship with Nina.
Both immediately fell ill and Lewis was later pronounced dead at the scene, while Nina made a full recovery.
Believing that she had fled to her native country of Thailand, KPD Detectives requested the assistance of PNWFAT investigators. They were able to determine that Smith had indeed fled to Thailand, and began the process to have her extradited back to Washington State to face the criminal charges against her. Smith, a native of Thailand, is a naturalized U.S. citizen.
“For the past two years, everyone involved in this case have worked diligently to locate and apprehend Smith, and bring this cold blooded killer back to Washington to face justice”, said U.S. Marshal Joe Hawe of the Western District of Washington. A hearing regarding Smith’s detention was held Dec. 5 in the United Kingdom and Smith will now face formal extradition proceedings there.
The Kirkland Police Department has worked for the past two years with a number of law-enforcement agencies in order to bring Smith to justice, including the Department of Justice–Office of International Affairs, the State Department Bureau of Diplomatic Security, the U.S. Marshals Service International Investigations Branch and various authorities in Thailand.
“It is unknown why Smith was traveling to England, but within the past few months, we have come very close to apprehending Smith in Thailand, and she may have been attempting to flee Thailand in order to avoid apprehension on this charge”, said Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal Tom Lanier.
The PNWFAT is a U.S. Marshals-sponsored partnership comprised of investigators from the King County Sheriff’s Office, Seattle Police Department, Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General, Washington State Department of Corrections, and the U.S. Marshals Service. The Task Force is supported by the Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative and was formed to concentrate apprehension efforts to remove federal, state and local fugitives from the streets. The Task Force objective is to disrupt illegal gang, gun and drug activity in the Northwest.