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Sunday, October 7, 2007

[NC] SMITHWICK MISSING - ex-wife & her police officer boyfriend under arrest

Kidnapped man's ex-wife now charged
Oct 5, 2007
As crews continue to search for any sign of Donald Bradley Smithwick of Ahoskie, his ex-wife was being booked into the Hertford County Jail. Janet Harrell Smithwick was arrested late Friday night and charged with being an accessory to the kidnapping... Donald Smithwick was kidnapped in front of his home Thursday morning... A Kitty Hawk Police officer has already been arrested in connection with the kidnapping. Raymond Jedele is behind bars on a $10-million bond... WAVY.com did a little digging into Jedele's job history. We're told he worked for the town of Hertford as a police officer and then the Kill Devil Hills Police Department. He also did a stint with Blackwater USA in Moyock before joining the Kitty Hawk Police Department.

Missing Ahoskie man's ex-wife arrested
October 6, 2007
...A Kitty Hawk policeman charged in the kidnapping of an Ahoskie man told 13News exclusively Friday that police have the wrong man. Investigators say 38-year-old Officer Raymond Jedele is the boyfriend of Donald Bradley "Brad" Smithwick's ex-wife, Janet. Smithwick remains missing.
Police believe a taser was used to subdue Smithwick as he left his home...
After a long and bitter custody battle with his first wife, Smithwick and his new wife were recently awarded custody of his two children.. He is on leave without pay from the Kitty Hawk Police Department while the investigation continues.
(Videos - 1, 2)


  1. I am having a heck of a time sorting through this. I used to hang out with Jedele on a daily basis.... I can't imagine him doing this, but we shall have to wait and see what shakes out after this(investigation)is over with.

  2. Body found, believed to be missing North Carolina man
    By LAUREN KING, The Virginian-Pilot
    October 10, 2007
    A body believed to be that of a missing man was found Tuesday in southern Chowan County, six days after he was reported abducted from his Ahoskie yard. Donald Bradley Smithwick, 33, was reported missing Thursday about 6 a.m. by a 911 caller who said Smithwick was accosted by a man dressed in black and then taken away in his Dodge pickup... Raymond Christian Jedele, 38, of Kill Devil Hills, was charged with first-degree kidnapping and held on a $10 million bond. Smithwick’s ex-wife, Janet Denise Harrell 33, of Chowan County, was subsequently charged with being an accessory to a crime after the fact and was being held on a $3 million bond. Both were being held at the Hertford County jail. Jedele, a Kitty Hawk police officer, was placed on disciplinary suspension without pay...

  3. Scott, I'm really sorry you have to process anything like this. It's beyond words even from the outside.

  4. No one should have to process this kind of horrific crime. There is NO justification for what was done to Brad. He was like every human walking the planet, we all have good and bad in us. But no one, and I mean NO one deserves to have their life taken in this violent way. No man deserves having his life taken, especially a good dad. I didn't say a perfect man but there are none, but he WAS a good man who loved his wife and his kids.

  5. Memorial service Sunday for Brad Smithwick
    October 11, 2007

    Services are set for an Ahoskie, N.C. man found dead this week, five days after being kidnapped from his home.

    The memorial for Brad Smithwick will be held Sunday at Faith Alive Ministries, 423 Shell Road in Chesapeake, his widow told 13News.

    Doors open at 3:00 p.m. and services begin at 3:30 p.m.

    Mrs. Smithwick is asking for donations instead of flowers to help his two children. Donations can be made at any branch of the North Carolina State Employees Credit Union.

    Meantime, no decision has been made about whether to upgrade charges against the couple already in custody in his disappearance.

    Kitty Hawk policeman Ray Jedele and Smithwick's ex-wife, Janet Harrell, are in jail on kidnapping and being an accessory after the fact, respectively.

    Police are waiting for some evidence, including DNA, to be processed in the state lab before deciding whether or not to press additional charges.

    Due to Jedele's status as a police officer and the high profile nature of the case, officials worried he may be the target of other inmates. Thursday, he was moved to a facility in Raleigh for his protection.


    Smithwick widow stays strong for slain husband's kids
    Lindsey Roberts, 13News
    October 12, 2007

    A preliminary report into the investigation of Brad Smithwick’s abduction and killing shows he was killed by a gunshot wound to the head.

    As police try to decide is murder charges will be filed against the two people implicated in Smithwick’s disappearance, his ex-wife and her boyfriend, Smithwick’s widow is leaning on her faith for strength.

    Sindi Smithwick says faith and daily prayers are what helps her get out of bed each day, and while her pain is indescribable, she knows there are two little souls who are hurting even more; Smithwick’s children.

    "Brad told us everyday how much he loved us and he told his family everyday how much he loved them,” said Mrs. Smithwick.

    Wearing her late husband's wedding ring next to her own, Mrs. Smithwick tries to deal with the unthinkable; the reality that she will never again hear her husband say, “I love you.”

    After days of helping with the search efforts, Tuesday she learned her husband's body had been found.

    "Of course, he is not home under the circumstances that we would like him to be, but he is home and he's in his permanent home with God,” said Mrs. Smithwick. “That is a small comfort, pretty much the only comfort that we have right now."

    It is that faith in God and her determination to be strong for Smithwick's two young children that she says is getting her from one day to the next.

    Mrs. Smithwick helped her husband win custody of his kids this fall. It's a fight she says she will continue.

    "It was an agreed upon thing with us,” said Mrs. Smithwick. “We would sell this house, everything in it and dig the dirt out and sell it if we had to to protect those kids, and I'm willing to do that as well. Anything it takes."

    She knows that her husband loved his kids more than anything and making sure they were loved and protected is what he would want.

    "If Brad could tell me anything right now he would,” she said. “He would tell me that he loved me and to take care of the kids."

    Mrs. Smithwick says the support from the community and even complete strangers has been so touching for her family, and for that she asked us to extend her thanks.

    Brad Smithwick will be remembered this Sunday at Faith Alive Ministries in Chesapeake at 3:30 p.m. in the church where he exchanged vows with his wife earlier this year.


    Search warrant brings new light to Ahoskie abduction case
    October 17, 2007

    A search warrant filed late Monday sheds new light on the case of the abduction and death of an Ahoskie man.

    Brad Smithwick was abducted from his home early October 4th. His body was discovered five days later off a dirt path in southern Chowan County.

    Two people are charged in the case; Smithwick's ex-wife, and Kitty Hawk police officer Raymond Jedele.

    The search warrant 13News obtained asks to review Jedele’s cell phone records, emails and computer files. It also lays out new details into what investigators believed happened the day Smithwick was abducted.

    Earlier this month, 13News learned that Smithwick had been tasered by his attacker. New information from the court document claims Jedele admitted to buying a personal taser while being questioned by investigators in the hours after Smithwick went missing.

    Jedele told 13News exclusively that he had nothing to do with the attack, but according to the search warrant, someone looking for a house key Jedele’s car the day after the abduction found Smithwick’s wallet in the driver’s side door of the vehicle.

    The document also shows a photo of Smithwick was found inside Jedele's home.

    At the time of the attack, Jedele and Smithwick's ex-wife, Janet Harrell, were dating.

    Investigators believe the victim's recent child custody victory, which gave him custody of the former couple’s two children, was the motive for the abduction and murder.

    Both Harrell and Jedele are behind bars on charges related to the kidnapping. Additional murder charges have not yet been filed.

    Investigators believe there is evidence about the planning and possible attempts to cover up the kidnapping and murder on Jedele's cell phone and computer.

    Jedele is currently being held in a Raleigh jail due to his status as a police officer.

    Both Jedele and Harrell are due back in Hertford County Court at the end of the month. It is likely then that additional murder charges will be filed.

    Ahoskie kidnapping charges discussed; sister comments on Jedele's arrest
    Lindsey Roberts
    October 17, 2007

    State and federal authorities met in Ahoskie, North Carolina Wednesday to discuss the death of Brad Smithwick, found dead Tuesday in the woods near the Edenton airport.

    Involved in the meeting at the district attorney’s office were the Ahoskie police chief, Hertford and Chowan county sheriffs, officials with the State Bureau of Investigation. They’re reviewing evidence in the case as they decide whether to upgrade charges against the two people charged in Smithwick’s disappearance.

    Kitty Hawk policeman Ray Jedele and his girlfriend, Janet Harrell, who is Smithwick’s ex-wife, were charged in last Thursday morning's abduction.

    From her home in New York, Jedele's sister spoke exclusively with 13News about her brother's arrest.

    "People have been calling me that I have known that know my brother from when we lived in Jersey and they cannot comprehend that this has happened,” said Bonnie Giovinazzo. “I know my poor father can't."

    She says no one in the family has spoken to Ray since his arrest. Giovinazzo says her brother is very controlled and loves his job and that's why the family can't understand why he would ever be involved in such a violent attack.

    "He would know that this would ruin his life and ruin my parents’ life and his family,” said Giovinazzo. “Whatever it was, whatever trigger, I don't know. Maybe he snapped. Maybe going out to all these other countries wasn't a hot idea. We don't know."

    Inbetween working for three different police departments in the area, Jedele worked for private firms doing personal protection for high profile officials in Kosovo and Iraq.

    13News obtained a personal letter written by an elected official in Kosovo, singing his praises. It said in part, “Jedele is an ambassador of the American people, the American nation, and of the American spirit.”

    "My brother has no excuse whatsoever,” said Giovinazzo. “If he has done something, there is no excuse for it, but we just, anyone who has ever known my brother, wouldn't think he would ever cross a line like that."

    Jedele and Harrell are each in jail on bonds of $10 million and $3 million respectively.

    The pair is due in court on October 30.


  6. Any update on this case?

  7. There's a small search box at the top of the page to check first. Yes there's an update, and if you find something even more recent please consider passing it on to me.

  8. AnonymousJune 04, 2010

    What is the update on this case?

  9. I looked and there doesn't seem to be one easily spotted. I wonder if he is out of jail in the meantime.

  10. The update is that Janet Denise Harrell's charges have been upgrade to first degree murder instead of accessory after the fact, details can be found at wavy.com, it is reported that Jedele's charges are still first degree, local rumor has it that both are facing the death penalty but that remains to be seen, reportedly the trial is set for January and Jedele has turned state's evidence against Harrell, admitting that she had a much more prominent role in the murder than she is admitting too.

  11. Can anyone post any links to news station or newspaper websites that talk about this case?

    Any update? It's almost December and I see nothing new on the web.

  12. WITN.com is a local news channel that has the latest update.

  13. And Janet got what? Why not tell us what she got and instead only cover Ray? Makes no sense. Where is the balance and complete information given here?

  14. If you were nice I'd post the link for the last two (more recent) posts, but you're not so I won't.

    Use the search box at the top of the page.

  15. http://www.witn.com/crime/headlines/Guilty_Plea_In_Ahoskie_Mans_Murder__110365389.html

  16. There's a link above posted on Nov 27 too. At that link it SAYS,

    "...Janet Harrell, Smithwick's ex-wife, pled guilty to second degree murder... Harrell was sentenced to 157 months to 198 months behind bars..."

  17. That's it?! 157 months for murder?

  18. I love you mommy.


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