Suspect arrested in 33-year-old Richmond homicide cold case

Marsha Carter

RICHMOND (KRON) — A suspect has been arrested in a 33-year-old Richmond homicide cold case, police announced Saturday.

54-year-old Placer County resident Sherill Smothers was arrested after a grand jury indicted Smothers in August.

Smothers is suspected of killing 25-year-old Marsha Carter in 1983, when she was living with her four children in a home on Santa Clara Street in Richmond.

On the morning of Dec. 7, 1983, three of Carter’s boys, 11, 9, and 7, woke up and were looking for their mother when they walked into her bedroom and found a pool of blood on her bed.

They also did not see their 10-month-old brother.

The boys went to a neighbor’s house for help. A neighbor came over and found the 10-month-old boy under Carter’s bed, but Carter was missing.

Carter’s body was found Dec. 17, 1983, in the trunk of her own car in West Sacramento. Detectives at that time were unable to identify any suspects.

Detectives started looking into the case again in 2008 and eventual identified Smothers as a suspect.

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