A North Carolina man has been charged in the murder of his girlfriend, a school teacher who had been missing since early June.
Bianca Tanner’s body was found in a wooded area July 3 and positively identified on July 8, according to The Charlotte Observer. Police have charged her boyfriend, Angelo Smith, with first-degree murder.
Smith initially told police that the couple argued over a text message on his phone, and Tanner was intoxicated when she stormed out of the apartment they shared.
However, Tanner’s son told police that “Mommy got a spanking with the belt. Angelo kicked mommy’s butt and made her cry. Angelo is mean to mommy and hurt mommy in the face,” according to a information in a search warrant.
Neighbors told Charlotte NBC affiliate WCNC that they heard “arguing in Tanner and Smith’s apartment followed by a loud thud and then silence.
Once Smith became a person of interest in the case, he fled to Illinois because “he feared for his safety and wanted to be closer to family,” according to Smith’s lawyer.
While in Chicago, Smith was briefly jailed after Charlotte Police filed a charge of delinquency of a minor against him for leaving Tanner’s three-year-old son alone, according to NewsOne.
Smith was released on $20,000 bail, but was arrested hours later when Tanner’s body was found.
“Thank you all for your continued prayers and support,” the Tanner family said in a statement. “The family asks for privacy as they try to deal with this senseless tragedy. GOD is a healer and they stand firm in their beliefs that GOD will help them overcome this too.”