Hampton woman’s body found in Isle of Wight

Jean Marie Smith (Photo courtesy Isle of Wight County Sheriff's Office).

ISLE OF WIGHT COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) — The body discovered in Isle of Wight early Friday morning is that of a former Sailor, and investigators need help figuring out where she was the day before her death.

Isle of Wight County Sheriff Mark Marshall told WAVY.com his deputies received a call Friday, April 17 reporting a body in a rural location off Hatchers Lane, near Courthouse Highway. The victim was later identified as 29-year-old Jean Marie Smith, a Hampton resident and former Navy Sailor.

Jean Marie Smith (Photo courtesy Isle of Wight County Sheriff's Office).
Jean Marie Smith (Photo courtesy Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office).

Preliminary autopsy results revealed Smith died of a gunshot wound, so the sheriff’s office is investigating her death as a homicide.

Investigators know Smith was out of town until April 15, and believe she was killed later that day. They need help from the public figuring out where she was from the time she returned to Hampton Roads until she was killed.

The investigation also led to a search warrant being executed on 15 Patriot Crescent in Hampton, where Smith’s grandmother, Mary Hawalka, lives. During that search, a man who was a tenant of Hawalka was arrested on unrelated charges.

The tenant, Eric Saub, is currently in Hampton City Jail without bond.

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service determined Smith was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy in 2011. There were no missing person reports for her around the time of her death.

Sheriff Marshall said the people who discovered Smith’s body were in the area hunting. He said it’s a wooded area near farmland.

If you or anyone you know had contact with Smith around April 15, please call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP℠.

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