Police confirm murder of American couple, son in Khada Gorge of Georgia

The suspect hid the body of the murdered four-year-old after shooting him. Photo: Ryan Smith Facebook page.
Agenda.ge, 09 Jul 2018 - 15:42, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Interior Ministry of Georgia has confirmed the death of American couple Ryan and Lora Smith and their 4-year-old son Caleb in the Khada Gorge, Dusheti region of Georgia.

The ministry said that a 19-year-old shepherd, identified only as M.K, shot Ryan and Caleb, while Lora Smith tried to run away but fell off a cliff. 

The Interior Ministry stated that the reason behind the murder was a dispute between the shepherd and Ryan Smith. However, the ministry did not say what the reason of the dispute was.

Lora Smith was found dead on July 6, next to a waterfall, "with no signs of violence,” as the ministry stated yesterday.

On the next day Ryan Smith was found dead and after an autopsy the ministry re-qualified the case from death caused by negligence to premeditated murder in aggravated circumstances.

The shepherd was detained several hours after the autopsy, when he admitted to the crime and showed the body of the murdered child to the police.

The detainee is facing life imprisonment if he is deemed mentally fit. 

The Smith family had lived in Georgia more than six years and in 2012 they received Georgian citizenship.

They lived in the Marneuli region of Georgia in the south-east of the country. Ryan Smith was the founder of reWoven.

The locals of Marneuli told the media that the Smith family had many Georgian friends and were very helpful. Marneuli residents said the Smiths intended to build a kindergarten in the region with their own money.