Sources: Bianca Tanner's death was domestic violence

Sources: Bianca Tanner's death was domestic violence


by GLENN COUNTS / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @GCountsWCNC

Posted on July 3, 2014 at 5:47 AM

Updated Thursday, Jul 3 at 7:17 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- For the second time in three days, Angelo Smith, Jr., was led in handcuffs back to the Mecklenburg County Jail, but this time he's not just a person of interest-- he's accused of murdering Bianca Tanner, his girlfriend.

Wednesday night, police got a major break in the case; a key witness led them to a densely-wooded plot of land off Calico Crossing Lane in the Steele Creek area.

Investigators found what they believe are Tanner's remains and rearrested Smith just half-an-hour later.

CMPD Chief Rodney Monroe says, “We had a cooperating witness that actually provided the information that brought us to this location as well as additional information to establish probable cause that we needed in order to place Mr. Smith under arrest."

Chief Monroe and CMPD investigators have been relentless in working this case.

Bianca Tanner was a teacher from Greensboro who moved to Charlotte to be with Smith; she had been missing since June 8.

Smith left the area and went to Chicago on June 16.

Sources tell NBC Charlotte that investigators had eyes on Smith in Illinois at various points, and even interviewed people up there he talked to as well as talking to his friends in Charlotte over and over again.

That psychological pressure may be what cracked the case.

Sources tell NBC Charlotte's Glenn Counts that Tanner's death was an act of domestic violence that went too far. A neighbor reported hearing a violent argument at the apartment, followed by a loud thud then silence, a source tells us.

Smith steadfastly denied having anything to do with the disappearance until Thursday morning, when sources say tell NBC Charlotte that Smith confessed.

Tanner started as a substitute teacher with Guilford County Schools in 2004. She was promoted to a full-time teacher two years later.

Tanner has a 3-year-old son, who was with her in Charlotte the weekend she disappeared. The child is now currently in the custody of the father. He does not live in Charlotte.

CMPD filed a delinquency of a minor charge against Smith, and he was arrested last week in Chicago.

Smith spent last weekend in the Cook County (Ill.) Jail and was extradited to Charlotte on Monday.

A judge set bail for Smith at $20,000 for the delinquency of a minor charge.