Parents of Arrested Shepherd Deny He Killed US Family

Family of the 19-year-old shepherd, Malkhaz Kobauri, arrested on charges of killing the American husband and wife - Ryan and Lora Smith, as well as their 4-year-old child Caleb, exclude that their son is a killer.

Mariam Martiashvili, mother of the detained, said she called her son on July 7 and he told her that a family of foreign tourists had been killed in the gorge.

“I called him and he said there was a tragedy and that foreign tourists were killed. I did not notice anything strange. He seemed calm and told me he would come home in two weeks,” the woman said.

She is sure her son is not guilty, adding the “police want to blame him in order to close the case.”

“My son has been a shepherd for three years. He is a good person. He would not do it,” Mariam stated.

Yuri Kobauri, father of the suspect, says he has six children and all of them are good and hardworking people, including the 19-year-old shepherd.

“This is a disaster! I was not there and do not know what really happened but my son would never do it. Ask the people in the village. No one can say anything bad about him,” the man claimed.

The killed husband and wife were citizens of the US but had Georgian citizenship, received in 2012. They had lived in the town of Marneuli for seven years and were well respected members of the local and expat community.

The search was launched on July 6 after they could not be contacted. Georgia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) made a statement on Monday that 19-year-old man was arrested on murder charges, saying on July 4, after a confrontation, he shot Ryan Smith and his son and while the wife was trying to escape, she fell into the ravine and died.

The MIA added the suspect then buried the body of the child to hide the crime, which was later discovered by police officers.

If found guilty, the man faces lifetime imprisonment.

By Thea Morrison

Photo source: 1TV

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ReWoven & Beyond, Republished in Memory of the Smith Family

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Geo Media: Deceased US Couple May Have Been Murdered


10 July 2018 12:00