A South African man was able to become a naturalized American citizen weeks after allegedly murdering two native Alaskan women, Breitbart News has learned.
Brian Smith, a 48-year-old native of South Africa, was indicted in October for the murders of 30-year-old Kathleen Henry and 52-year-old Veronica Abouchuk in Anchorage, Alaska, in separate incidents. Henry was allegedly strangled to death, while Abouchuk was allegedly shot and killed.
A law enforcement official confirmed to Breitbart News that Smith first arrived in the U.S. in 2014 on a K-1 visa, the visa program that brings thousands of foreign fiancés of American citizens to the country every year.
Smith, the law enforcement official confirmed, was able to become a naturalized American citizen weeks after he had already allegedly murdered Henry in a hotel room and potentially months to a year after allegedly murdering Abouchuk. At the time of his naturalization in September, Smith had not been identified by police as a murder suspect.
In the case of Henry’s murder, which has become known as the “Memory Card Killing,” Smith allegedly recorded the torture and murder of the native Alaskan woman on September 4. In early October, a woman found the SD memory card on a street with the title “homicide at midtown Marriott,” which allegedly depicts Smith strangling and murdering Henry.
While being interviewed by police for the Henry murder, Smith allegedly “admitted to shooting another female victim between 2017 and 2018,” according to local officials. That information led police to the body of Abouchuk who was found dead, with a gunshot wound to her head, in a location where Smith allegedly said she would be found.
Abouchuk was first reported missing in February and had not been seen since July 2018.
Smith has been indicted for first-degree murder, sexual assault, tampering with evidence, torture, and misconduct involving a corpse. If convicted of the torture charge, alone, Smith could get a minimum mandatory sentence of 99 years in prison.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.