Posted: 5:40 p.m. Thursday, July 3, 2014

Investigators suggest Oviedo-area slayings could be gang related

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. —

There's a new twist tonight in an already mysterious double murder.
 
Investigators in Orange County are trying to find out if a slain couple from the eastern part of the county was connected to a street gang.
 
James and Ann Marie Smith were found dead in their home in April of last year, but investigators have yet to name any suspects in the case.
 
Channel 9's Jeff Deal found out a Crimeline flier says the pair could be linked to a gang known as the Oviedo Soldiers.
 
The Smiths lived in a rural area near Oviedo.
 
Their daughter Valerie Smith told Deal that she didn't even know there were street gangs in Oviedo.
 
The Smiths had four children. Their daughter said they worked hard and said her mother was about to retire from her job.
 
"My father was a landscaper, loved being in nature. My mother was a manager at Disney," Valerie Smith said.
 
She said her parent's deaths left her devastated and that her grandmother found their bodies.
 
Neighbors reported hearing gunshots the night the couple was slain. Sheriff's investigators have released few details in the case.
 
Recently Crimeline mailers started showing up in mailboxes in east Orange County that say investigators believe there was a connection between at least one of the victims and the street gang.
 
"I can't imagine, I cannot imagine that being the case. I can't imagine it," said Valerie Smith
 
She said she never knew her parents to associate with criminals.
 
Oviedo police said the gang is involved in drugs and was the target of a large gang crackdown about 10 years ago by the Seminole County Sheriff's Office.
 
Orange County investigators won't say how the gang could be connected to the slayings of the Smiths. 
 
"There's not a day goes by where I don't think about them and miss them terribly," Valerie Smith said.
 
She said she is hoping that people will pay attention to the fliers and the $10,000 reward being offered.

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