Kelsey Smith’s murder first captured my attention on the show See No Evil on the Investigation Discovery channel. The show focuses on cases in which surveillance footage is available. In the case of Kelsey Smith, this footage was instrumental in solving her case.
Kelsey Smith was born on May 3, 1989 and lived in Overland Park, Kansas. She was 18 and had just graduated from high school. She was about to celebrate a six-month relationship with her boyfriend. She had a promising future.
On June 2, 2007, Kelsey took a trip to Target where she was shopping for a gift for her boyfriend. Unfortunately, she would not have the ability to give it to him.
While at the store, she spoke to her mother on the phone before going outside. She was last seen at 7:07 p.m. in the parking lot of the store at Quivira and 97th.
Greg Smith, Kelsey’s father, had worked in law enforcement for years. He grew suspicious when she did not return after her shopping trip that Sunday.
Four hours later, Kelsey’s Ford Crown Victoria was discovered outside the Oak Park Mall, near Macy’s. This was right across the street from the Target where she’d been shopping. Her belongings, including her phone, wallet, and purchases, were still inside the car.
Video Footage Emerges
Upon further inspection, video footage from Target showed someone forcing Kelsey into her car. Investigators had to slow down footage in order to see it because it happened so quickly.
Two hours later, footage shows Kelsey’s car returning. At about 9:17 p.m., a figure in a white shirt and dark pants left her vehicle in the mall parking lot and returned to the street. They could not determine if the figure was a male or female, but they did note a 1970's-era truck leaving the lot shortly afterward.
After viewing the footage, detectives figured that somebody may have been watching her inside the store. They went back to Target’s tapes. Inside the store, they could see a white male, seemingly in his 20s, on the same aisles as Kelsey. He kept some distance, but it was clear he was watching her.