TYPE OF EVENT: PC 187 – Murder
PC 451(a) – Arson
CVC 2800.2 – Felony Evading
LOCATION: 500 block of E. Cottonwood Ave.
SUSPECT ARRESTED: George Richard Smith Jr. – DOB: 07/21/1962
On 06/30/2020, at approximately 1006 hours, The Ridgecrest Police Department received emergency calls to the area of the 500 block of E. Cottonwood Ave. regarding a residential structure fire. Upon arrival, officers located the interior of the structure fully engulfed in flames, with heavy smoke billowing from within the residence. Kern County Fire Department arrived on scene and was able to extinguish the fire. While extinguishing the fire, KCFD located an apparent deceased female inside the residence.
Ridgecrest Police Department Detectives/Officers, Kern County Fire Department Arson Unit and the Kern County Coroner’s Office worked in unison and determined the deceased female was a victim of homicide prior to the residence being lit on fire. Investigation revealed that George Smith Jr. was the suspect. Smith Jr. was later located driving his vehicle and fled from Officers when a traffic stop was attempted. With assistance from the Kern County Sheriff’s Department, Smith Jr. was apprehended in the 900 block of S. China Lake Blvd. without further incident.
Smith Jr. was arrested for the above listed charges and later booked at the Central Receiving Facility in Bakersfield.
JED MCLAUGHLIN, Chief of Police
PREPARED BY: Sgt. R. Marrone – Investigations Sergeant