Watch CBS News

Teen Arrested In Foster Mom's Death Faces Additional Charges

By Matt Kroschel

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (CBS4) - The 14-year-old accused of killing her foster mom is now facing additional charges.

On Wednesday the suspect, whose name has not been releases since she is a juvenile and not being charged as an adult at this time, went before a judge. The proceedings were closed to the public and the media.

Authorities continue to investigate how Linda Smith, 61, died. Her family held funeral services Tuesday for Smith.

Neighbors tell CBS4 that Smith volunteered frequently at the Salvation Army and took care of animals needing forever homes.

Mesa County deputies found her body inside a home in the 500 block of 29 1/2 Street on Feb. 13.

The teen faces a long list of charges including manslaughter. She is being held without bond at the youth corrections center in Mesa County.

Linda Smith (credit: CBS)

Neighbors who knew Smith say she had a huge heart and spent her life helping people, including children who needed foster care.

"Two people were in there and only one is alive now," neighbor Anne Wilde told CBS4 while sitting on her porch steps away from where Smith's body was discovered.

Wilde says she heard a commotion the day Smith was found dead inside this apartment.

"I offered CPR but it was too late," Wilde said.

Police converged on the apartment after a case worker came by the apartment to check on the teen and Smith when they found Smith inside- unresponsive.
Neighbor's say the teen was inside when the discovery was made by authorities.

"Nobody really believe that could happen things like that, you don't think would happen next-door," neighbor Alice Malone said.

CBS4 has learned through law enforcement sources the 14-year-old was placed with Smith in foster care just two weeks earlier.

That teen has past run-ins with police in Pueblo. The Mesa County District Attorney has asked that the charges include a repeat juvenile offender status.

Now neighbor's wonder if Smith's charitable heart lead to her death.

"There are people to try to change the world one person at a time and that's who she was didn't matter if it was dogs, people, older people- she didn't care she was just a smile for everyone that she saw," Wilde said.

The case will remain in the juvenile court system and all the documents remain sealed, but the affidavit may be made public on Wednesday.

Matt Kroschel covers news throughout Colorado working from the CBS4 Mountain Newsroom. Send story ideas to and connect with him on Twitter @Matt_Kroschel.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.