COLUMBIA — Kimberly Smith was a criminal justice major at Columbia College, set to graduate in May. The 20-year-old was in her hometown, Troy, during her last spring break as an undergraduate.
Her on-again, off-again boyfriend there, Rafe Wagner, had just completed training to start a new life as a prison guard.
And for reasons not yet understood, authorities think he turned his .40-caliber Glock on Smith sometime Saturday before turning it on himself, ending both lives with two pulls of the trigger.
Authorities said the two weren't found until early Monday morning, when Smith's family members, concerned by her disappearance, saw her car in Wagner's driveway at 244 Autumn Oaks Drive in Troy and spotted the couple's bodies through a front-door window of his house.
Lincoln County Sheriff's Detective Shayne Duryea said investigators were still looking into the deaths — conducting interviews, performing forensic tests — but the extra work may be for naught.
"We don’t have any indications or reason to believe that this was anything other than a murder-suicide," Duryea said.
Wagner, 28, got divorced in September 2009, and according to one family member interviewed by Duryea, he started seeing Smith around that time. The pair had apparently not met before then, Duryea said.
Wagner didn't have a criminal record — just a couple minor traffic tickets — or any reported history of domestic violence with Lincoln County law enforcement.
Duryea said Smith's family alleged that Wagner abused her, which Wagner's family denied. Officially, the department had no evidence of abuse, Duryea said.
Smith grew up in Troy and graduated from Troy Buchanan High School in 2007.
Columbia College is on spring break this week. A news release from spokeswoman Joanne Tedesco said, "The Columbia College community is saddened by the loss."
There was no word from the college about any memorials that might be planned. Students return to classes next week.
Services for Smith will be held at noon Friday at the Ingersoll Chapel for Funeral and Cremation Services, 211 Boone St. in Troy.