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El Enigma de la Mariposa," or "The Mystery of the Butterfly."
Jada Claudia Gomez Menendez, from Trujillo, Peru was a vibrant young woman....until a
suitcase containing her partially decomposed body washed up on a Lima, Peru beach,
courtesy of an earthquake that shook loose the weight holding it down.
Her parents, Jose Gomez (former officer in Peruvian National Police force) and Patricia
Menendez Clara Leon, identified their daughter Jada from the butterfly tatoo on the back
of her neck. Jana was the eldest of their three children.
Jose Gomez "We continue to pray for justice in our daughter's death. We feel destroyed,
Patricia Menendez "He (her husband) was very jealous and violent, even when he was in
our house, hiding his real face, and I must confess that deceived us all. That is a violent
"My daughter, after months of marriage, decided to complete and continue her studies in
the UPAO Administration, so she traveled to Lima to meet him and to end the relationship ... Apparently that angered William, who made the decision to kill her."
William Trickett Smith Jr. father is William Trickett Smith Sr. - a former attorney and politician
who was convicted for mortgage and real estate scams (former Harrisburg attorney accused
of stealing thousands of dollars from the estates and accounts of vulnerable senior citizens
& using false information and untrue statements to sell stock.) His mother reportedly is also
an attorney in Pennsylvania.
2000 - William Trickett Smith Jr. of Paxtang, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania,
and two other men are caught by authorities in a car with 70 grams of cocaine,
marijuana packaged for sale, cash and handguns. He is sentenced to 2 - 4
years in prison.
2004 - While on parole - A car William Trickett Smith Jr. is in is stopped by police.
Smith struggles with an officer, pushes the driver aside and flees.
He pled guilty to escape and fleeing or eluding police. He is sentenced to
4 years of intermediate punishment.
2004 - William Trickett Smith Jr., convicted felon with a long criminal history, is on
parole for eluding police. As a part of parole, he is not allowed to leave the U.S.
He must inform his parole officer of any travel plans.
2005 - Jada Gomez meets William Trickett Smith Jr. online and they form a friendship.
Trickett woos her and they form a relationship. Trickett met Jana via Match.com.
2006 - August 16 - Trickett travels to Trujilo, Peru (in violation of his parole) to meet
Jada and her parents.
William Trickett Smith Jr & Jana Gomez Menendez
Trickett travels frequently to Peru to visit both before, and after he marries Jada.
2007 - February - Monica Munoz Pereda meets Smith online. For two months they are
"intimate" until she finds out he is married (or so she claims).
2007 - March 1 - Jada Gomez Menendez and William Trickett Smith Jr. marry.
Wedding photos of Jana Gomez Menendez and William Trickett Smith Jr.
Jada's family notices that after the wedding William Trickett Smith Jr.
begins to forbid Jada to attend social gatherings, or meet with her friends.
He spies on, hacks into her communications. Jada's friends think he's
extremely jealous, controlling, and violent. He chokes Jana unconscious
during an argument. Three times, he makes Jana change their phone
March - April - Smith is still carrying on a relationship with Monica Munoz Pereda.
2007 - May - Monica Munoz Pereda finds out William Trickett Smith is married. She
claims she ended their intimate relationship, but remained on friendly
terms with him.
The two exchange emails. In one, Smith asks Monica Pereda "Where can I
buy a drug that puts people to sleep?"
In another, Smith asks Monica Pereda "Where can I find a boat that won't
require me to fill out alot of paperwork? I'd pay double to rent the boat if I
could stay anonymous and rent it at night."
Another email - Smith asks Monica Pereda "Tell me what the police are like
in your country?" He tells Peredea "I became enraged at a woman while
registering my child for school in the U.S. I just felt like killing her."
In another email Smith asks Monica Pereda "If it were another woman
would you help me?"
END OF A JEALOUS MARRIAGE
2007 - July 2 - William Smith has Monica Pereda call Nextel Communications
and pretend to be his wife Jana to cancel her (Jana's) cell phone.
She reports the phone stolen.
Jana spends time with her mother shopping, dining, and going to the movies.
2007 - July 4- Jada tells her mother she is travelling 10 - 11 hours on a bus to Lima, Peru where
she will meet Smith. She's decided that after months of a jealous marriage, she
plans to continue and complete her studies in the UPAO Administration, to go to
meet with Smith in Lima to end the marriage. Jana packs only a few clothes
in her favorite bag.
Jana telephones the the phone service and asks to be reconnected. She
tells the service she had not asked to be disconnected and her phone has
not been stolen. Hours after the phone service is restored, the company
is called by someone asking them to disconnect the service.
2007 - July 5 - William Trickett Smith Jr. joins Jada at San Remo Hotel in Lima, Peru.
July 6 - William and Jada are still at the San Remo Hotel.
July 7 - Justo Jose Servign Solano (fisherman) is hired by Smith to take him and
Jada on a boat ride out to sea.
2007 - July 8 - William Smith leaves the hotel without his wife. A hotel employee "I saw
him with his wife, but then I saw him alone, carrying a blue suitcase."
Other employees see him leave.
2007 - July 8 - William Trickett Smith calls Monica Pereda and asks if he can come to her
apartment in Lima, Peru. When he arrives, he is carrying a small briefcase.
He claims "I have to go back to the airport because my luggage got messed
up." When Smith comes back, he is carrying a dark blue suitcase.
Smith brought the suitcase into her apartment and uses duct tape to wrap
He asks Monica Pereda if she'll go with him when he takes the suitcase to
a business associate. She agrees. But after they are in the taxi, Smith
changes his mind.
He asks "Would you like to go with me on a boat ride in Chorrillos?" (a
fishing town 25 minutes from Lima.) He telephones the boat owner while
they are in the taxi.
7:00 P.M. - They arrive in Chorillos, board the boat and go out into the water.
About 15 minutes into the boat ride, Smith asks the boatman "How
deep is the water?" He replies "35 meters." Smith takes the dark blue ,
suitcase, secured with a rope and a heavy object and and slings it overboard.
Monica Pereda "Why'd you toss the suitcase into the water?"
Wiliam Smith "It is an American tradition to throw things in the ocean to
forget about something." "When we want to forget about something, we throw it
into the ocean."
Monica Pereda "What's in the suitcase?"
William Smith "Just some old documents and papers."
Monica Pereda "You should put trash in the garbage, not the ocean."
2007 - July 9 - 12 - Smith has Monica Pereda call the hotel pretending to be his wife Jana
and cancel their stay at the hotel. Smith flies out from Peru and returns
to the U.S. He takes with him a bag of Jana Gomez's personal items.
Her clothing, some of it is cut and torn. He also has Jana's sneakers
with sand in them, and her Peruvian photo identification.
Blue jeans. A leather handbag. A pair of blue sneakers.
computer, photographs and other personal possessions of Jana
Gomez, such as jewelry, shoes, clothing and documents.
William Trickett Smith telephones Jada's family from the U.S. saying he
has been trying to contact Jada. Her family tells him Jada was meeting
him in Lima. Smith tells them that isn't true, because on that date, he
wasn't in Peru and hadn't traveled to Peru in early July.
Jada's family notify police and a search begins. William Trickett Smith
travels to Peru to assist.
MISSING PERSONS INVESTIGATION
William Trickett Smith Jr. entered Peru on July 4, 2007 and returned to
the U.S.on July 8, 2007.
Emails between William Trickett Smith and Monica Pereda.
Monica Pereda had relocated to Italy to study. Her parents urge her to come home and
speak to police. Pereda travels back to Peru and assists with the investigation. She is
on bail, and is not allowed to leave the country.
Menendez Maria Cecilia Leon (Aunt of Jada Gomez), certifies that
Smith telephoned and said he could not communicate with his wife, Jada,
and was not in Peru nor met his his wife Jada in Peru.
The staff of Hotel Oscar, Jose Ruiz Gomez and Hans Steel Vladimir Reyes,
security personnel, Clovaldo Juan Sosa, and Nilton Cesar Avalos Masas Borjas,
receptionists "identify Smith and Gomez, that they stayed together at the Hotel
San Remo on the days 5 to July 8, 2007.
Nilton Cesar Masias Borjas, receptionist Hotel San Remo - photographic
identification, recognized the suspect and the victim, as the couple who
stayed at the Hotel San Remo "in the months of June and July, 2007."
Juan Sosa Clovaldo Avalos, San Remo Hotel receptionist, recognized William
Trickett Smith II Trick or William Smith II and Jana Claudia Menendez Gomez
as people stayed at the Hotel San Remo "in the months of June and July."
2007 - July 30 - Ruby Carrigan (Friend of Jada Gomez) in the U.S. receives an e-mail from
William Smith. It is nearly 4 weeks after her friend was last seen by her family
in Peru. "When I first read it, I had a bad feeling. I felt like my friend was dead."
The e-mail says "Jada is missing, Smith is searching for her, and "I am
so worried about her."
2007 - July -31 - William Trickett Smith Jr. returns to Peru. He tells Jana's parents that
he is trying to find Jana. He again denies travelling to Peru earlier in
Patricia Menendez "Smith had Jana's diary, which she always kept with
her. He said he had "mistakenly" taken it back to the U.S."
"I found a distinctive key ring belonging to Jana that wasn't here before
Authorities believe Smith may have been trying to engage in drug trafficking. They uncover
flights from U.S., Ecuador and Costa Rica to and Peru.
A DEADLY EARTHQUAKE & A GRISLY SUITCASE
2007 - August 1 - Smith meets with Jana's family in Lima to search for Jana.
August 14 - Smith tells them he has to return to the U.S.
Patricia Menendez "He said he had to return to his country and gave no
Aug. 15 - An earthquake strikes Peru, causing massive damage, killing more than
500 people. The epicenter is in the Pacific Ocean about 90 miles south
of the capitol, Lima, Peru.
Because of the earthquake, Smith is unable to fly to the U.S. He telephones
Jana's parents to ask how they were doing.
August 16 - 13.30 hours - Serenazgo Miraflores District, Lima, Peru -
"Las Cascadas" beach - a blue suitcase floats ashore. There are thick green cords
attached to it. Inside is a decomposing female body, curled in a fetal position, with a
butterfly wing tattoo on the upper cervical spine.
Smith telephones Jana's family to say he has flown to the U.S.
LEARNING OF A DEATH VIA TELEVISION
Jana Gomez's mother Patricia sees the report of the suitcase and the butterfly
tattoo on television and knows it is her daughter Jana. She breaks down in .
Peruvian Police believe the force of the earthquake broke the cord(s) that had been
attached to a weight to keep the suitcase submerged, allowing it to float to shore.
Police station in Buenos Aires de Trujillo - a police report regarding the disappearance
of a female person, Jana Gomez Smith, dated July 26 de 2007, she had a butterfly tattoo.
Authorities quickly determine that the body in the suitcase is Jada Gomez.
Jose Gomez and his wife Patricia travel to Lima, to the morgue, to identify
their daughter Jana.
IDENTIFYING THE SUITCASE
Staff of the Hotel San Remo: Oscar Jose Gomez Ruiz, Hans Steel Vladimir Reyes, Juan Sosa Avalos y Clovaldo Masas Nilton Cesar Borjas, recognize the suitcase.
Hans Steel Vladimir Reyes, a San Remo Hotel worker recognizes the suitcase. It is the same
as the one William Trickett Smith used and was dragging as he left the hotel during his shift.
One day prior to the crime, Justo Jose Servign Solano (fisherman) was hired by Smith to take him and Jada Gomez on a boat ride out to sea. Photographic identification - He recognizes Jana Claudia Menendez Gomez as the woman who was Smith's partner the 7th day of July 2007.
On July 8 Justo Jose Solano (fisherman) was hired by Smith and recognizes Monica Cecilia Munoz Pereda as the woman who accompanied William Trickett Smith II Trick or William
Smith II, on the 8th day of July 2007, when Smith threw the suitcase into the sea.
He identifies the suitcase as the bag that was thrown into the sea in the presence of Monica Pereda.
Monica Cecilia Munoz Pereda certifies that on July 8, 2007 she met Smith and accompanied
him for a "walk on the beach, he was carrying a travel bag "which later he plunged into the sea, even said that he explained this behavior that "it was old papers and books that I wanted to get
rid to forget " Pereda identifies the case, as the same that William Trickett Smith II Trick or William Smith II carried on Sunday, July 8, 2007 and cast into the sea.
Monica Munoz Pereda - re-enactment of the crime
of William Trickett Smith Jr with the suitcase.
Clara Menendez Patricia Leon, mother of the victim, Jada, identified the suitcase and said
the case belonged to William Trickett Smith and which he always used when he arrived at
his home in Trujillo; the victim went out to meet her husband and then heard nothing from
her until the identification of the body.
A document: describing the belongings of Jada Gomez, clothing which she was wearing before she was killed, and which was found at the home of the mother
of William Trickett Smith Jr. in the state of Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Manuel Leon (Peruvian Police Detective) "Boxes of evidence arrived from authorities
in the U.S. less than three weeks ago. The evidence included a computer, photographs
and personal possessions of Jada Gomez, including jewelry, shoes and clothing, The
jeans, sneakers and a handbag were among the possessions she wore or carried when
she left her home in Trujillo, Peru, for the final time."
Jose Gomez and Clara Menendez Patricia Leon identified the belongings, clothing, dress,
and personal documents which had been in the possession of their daughter prior to her
death, but were found in Smith's mother's home in the U.S. They told Peruvian police the
items shipped from Harrisburg, PA. belonged to their daughter Jada.
Authorities believe William Trickett Smith II Trick or William Smith II ended the life of Jana
Claudia Gomez Menendez, who was his spouse, at the San Remo Hotel located at Calle Bartolomo Herrera number 294; in the district of Lince, Province and Department of Lima,
after which he placed the deceased's body in a suitcase, and later cast her into the sea "
Jana Claudia Gomez Menendez de Smith died of a sharp blow to the head.
Jana Claudia Gomez Menendez de Smith is buried int he Gardens of Peace Huanchaco
by her parents and siblings.
MURDER SUSPECT - PAROLE VIOLATION
2007 - August 24 - William Trickett Smith is arrested in the United States on the grounds of failing to notify his parole officer of his 11 trips outside the U.S. to
Pennsylvania - Dauphin County- Judge Kleinfelter "This kind of callous disregard for the court's order does not warrant another break ... he got that two years ago."
Smith is sentenced to 2 to 6 years in state prison. "Smith had violated the trust of the court."
Smith is incarcerated in the State Correctional Institution at Smithfield.
William Trickett Smith Jr
2007 - September - William Trickett Smith Jr. files a lawsuit Against County Prison
Lawsuit Withdrawn' (Patriot News, Pennsylvania, by Garry Lenton) "The attorney for
a man wanted for questioning in the death of his wife in Peru said publicity about the case
forced him to withdraw a suit the man had against the Dauphin County Prison.
William Trickett Smith II claimed correctional officers used excessive force against
him because of his Muslim beliefs."
2008 - November 12 - This week Peruvian President Alan Garcia signed documents seeking
the extradition of William Trickett Smith II to face a charge of homicide
in the death of Jana Claudia Gomez Menendez.
Patricia Menendez buried her slain daughter, and vowed to seek justice.
"I am so happy. I feel that the fight that I started for justice for my daughter reached the right ears and has echoed on. My family will not stop until William Smith pays for what he did."
Manuel Leon, the lead Peruvian Detective "Authorities in Peru are proceeding carefully
in their investigation, with the goal of having Smith brought to our country for prosecution."
"William Trickett Smith II is the only suspect in the death of his wife."
Gary Myers (Attorney for Smith's family) "We are awaiting action from Peru, if any, and we
will respond to it accordingly."
2009 - June 10 - U.S. Magistrate Judge J. Andrew Smyser continues the hearing for William
Trickett Smith II until July 9 to allow the government to respond to objections
raised to the paperwork by Public Defender James V. Wade, who filed a
motion stating that one of 2 volumes of information supporting the case for
extradition was not properly certified. One volume is in Spanish and one is the
English translation. The law requires the volumes to be individually certified.
The paperwork is refiled and certified.
2009 - July 12 - Extradition Hearing.
2009 - July 17 - Pennsylvania Federal Court Judge J. Andrew Smyser rules that there
is sufficient evidence to allow Smith’s extradition to Peru.
2009 - October 25 - U.S. District Federal Judge James Munley denies Smith's appeal
of an order that he be extradited to Peru to stand trial for murder.
Munley cited witness accounts that Smith left a hotel where he was staying with
his wife, with a suitcase like the one in which the body was found.
Two co-defendants have said Smith weighted down a suitcase and dropped it into
William A. Behe (Assistant U.S. Attorney) "I am pleased by the decision and hope that another appeal immediately filed by Smith's attorney will be heard quickly."
To be continued.