Suspect in deadly Vancouver hit & run arrested

Suspect in deadly Vancouver hit & run arrested

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by Teresa Blackman, KGW.com Staff

kgw.com

Posted on January 29, 2014 at 6:22 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 30 at 1:15 PM

VANCOUVER – The suspected driver in a hit-and-run that killed two women walking home from a baby shower in Vancouver has been arrested.

Police believe Brandon Smith, 27, was driving the truck that hit and killed 28-year-old Irina Gardinant and 45-year-old Raisa Mosh as they were crossing a Vancouver street on Jan. 19.

Background: Two Vancouver mothers killed in hit-and-run

Smith, of Vancouver, turned himself in to police with his attorney present at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Raisa Mosh's niece was glad to hear Smith was finally arrested.

"Most of all, relief," said Julia Gossen. "Even though it's just started, it really is the end for most of us."

Detectives said Smith would be booked into the Clark County Jail on two counts of vehicular homicide, three counts of hit-and-run, one count of vehicular assault, and one count of tampering with evidence.

Smith's live-in girlfriend and his mother were both arrested last weekend for their alleged involvement in the case.  His 5-month-old baby was taken into protective custody.

More arrests are likely of "individuals who have tampered with evidence or provided false statements to law enforcement during the course of this investigation," according to Vancouver police spokeswoman Kim Kapp.

Suspect's girlfriend & mom already arrested

Smith's girlfriend Kalista Andino, 21, was charged Monday with one count of witness tampering. Prosecutors said she was a passenger in Smith's truck and failed to report the deadly crash.

A police search warrant obtained by KGW said that Andino told a neighbor her boyfriend "is an alcoholic who frequently drives under the influence."

The search warrant also described how police obtained DNA from the suspected driver, a computer, and a receipt for groceries purchased at a nearby store just prior to the deadly crash.

Smith's mother, 63-year-old Linda Smith, was also charged with witness tampering. She allegedly called witnesses and urged them not to speak with investigators.

Both women posted bail and left jail under strict orders not to contact Brandon, each other or the victims' families.

More: 2 arrested for witness tampering in double fatal

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