Youngstown police ID woman found dead in trash in 2008

Staff report


Police have identified a woman who was found dead in a trash can in 2008.

Police identified the victim as Anita D. Smith, who was 44 at the time of death. She had been visiting the area from Georgia.

On Aug. 21, 2008, at 6:50 a.m., waste-disposal workers found the remains of a female, now determined to be Smith, after dumping a trash container in the 800 block of Michigan Avenue on the city’s North Side.

The initial investigation by the Youngstown Police Department and Mahoning County Coroner’s office revealed Smith died of an undetermined cause due to the state of decomposition.

Detectives followed multiple leads, interviewing dozens of people while canvassing the area on several occasions, but could not identify the woman at that time.

She was ultimately identified through DNA samples.

Youngstown detectives in 2010 discovered a missing female from Rome, Ga., who had similar physical characteristics of the unidentified remains.

Police learned that this person had traveled to Youngstown and had not been seen by her family in Rome since 2007.

She was not reported to authorities as missing until 2010.

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