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May 26, 2024

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Husband of Murdered Van Kress Heiress a Suspect

By Taylor Bronson

Kahului, Maui – Victoria Van Kress, heiress to the Van Kress copper and real estate empire, was murdered on June 6th, 2017. Her newlywed husband, James Smith, has now been taken into police custody and is being held as a suspect. There’s no word yet on when or if charges will be officially filed.

Smith and Van Kress, granddaughter of famed real estate baron Martin Van Kress, arrived in Maui early in the morning on June 3rd following their wedding in Breakout City. The honeymooning couple then checked into the White Towers Hotel. Late morning on the 6th, Van Kress was found in the couples’ hotel room unresponsive. Paramedics arriving on scene declared her deceased. The police have now released information that the young bride was brutally strangled to death. Moving swiftly to solve the murder, they have taken into custody her husband, Smith. He was initially cited as a material witness, but within half an hour of entering police custody, it was circulated that he was the prime suspect in his wife’s murder.

Van Kress, a philanthropist and spokeswoman for the charity For Love of Lydia, and Smith, an accountant working for the Van Kress family, met in August of last year. After a whirlwind courtship, the couple were engaged and tied the knot a few days ago in a ceremony attended by the rich and famous.

Police have not yet released an official statement regarding Smith’s status or any possible motive he might have had in the killing. Hotel restaurant employees said they witnessed a heated argument between Van Kress and Smith the night before her murder. The encounter ended with Van Kress returning to their room and Smith heading to the bar where he spent the next few hours.

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