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Break leads police to suspect in Portage woman's death
PORTAGE, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A major break in a Portage homicide case led police to the other side of the state.
Portage Police say their suspect was arrested Thursday night in Saginaw, just hours after police found 56-year-old Delores Smith dead in her home at Devonshire Apartments.
Now, Newschannel 3 has learned that the man in custody has been identified as 58-year-old Clinton Edward Smith.
Portage Police are confident that Clinton is the person responsible for Delores' death.
Just five hours after Portage Police found Delores in her apartment, Saginaw Police were able to track down Clinton Smith in the 1500 block of South Warren Street.
They say that at the time, he was hiding and trying to evade police.
Portage Police will not elaborate on what type of relationship victim and suspect had, but they do believe that Delores was targeted.
"It was unusual for her not to show up for work," said Portage Det. Lt. Tom Palenick, referencing the call made to police when Delores did not arrive at work on Thursday.
When officers arrived at the apartment, they found Delores, and realized her car was gone.
Family members on-scene told police that the person responsible might be headed to Saginaw.
Using a criminal history database through the Michigan State Police, Newschannel 3 learned that Clinton has been arrested at least three other times, dating back to 1987.
In one case, he pleaded guilty to a domestic violence charge.
Just two months ago, Clinton was arrested for failing to pay child support, and now will be facing a homicide charge.
Portage Police say an autopsy has been completed, but they're not releasing the results at this time.
As for Clinton Smith, he is behind bars at the Kalamazoo County Jail, and is expected to be formally charged on Monday.