Rockford woman named in murder-kidnapping; suspect arrested

Published: Jul. 23, 2022 at 8:19 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - A Rockford woman was found dead on Saturday morning, and her ex-boyfriend is behind bars as a suspect.

Saturday morning, Rockford police arrived on Cole Avenue to investigate a suspicious missing person’s case. 38-year-old Ashley Hardin was missing under suspicious circumstances. Hardin’s ex-boyfriend, 46-year-old Rayshawn Smith, became a person of interest.

A few hours later, Roscoe police arrived on East Rockton Road, responding to a call about a possible dead body. The two departments worked together to identify the body as Hardin and opened a murder investigation.

Smith was taken into custody around 11 a.m. on N. Main Street. He is charged with first-degree murder, aggravated kidnapping and aggravated unlawful restraint.

His bond is set at $2 million.

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