Charlotte Observer
10:06 am
Thu July 3, 2014

Missing Teacher Bianca Tanner's Boyfriend Charged After Body Found

Bianca Richardson Tanner
Credit Charlotte-Mecklenburg police

A body thought to be that of missing teacher Bianca Tanner was found overnight in southwest Charlotte and her boyfriend has been arrested in the case, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Chief Rodney Monroe said.

During a pre-dawn news conference Thursday, Monroe said a body was discovered after a search in a wooded area off Shopton Road near Westinghouse Boulevard.

Monroe also said Angelo Grayson Smith Jr., Tanner’s boyfriend, was arrested early Thursday and will be charged with murder in the case.

Monroe said CMPD detectives had gained information during the investigation that led them to search early Thursday in a wooded area in the 10400 block of Calico Crossing Lane. Police were joined by the K-9 dog search unit from the York County Sheriff’s Office.

Police said the N.C. Medical Examiner’s Office will make a positive identification.

But shortly after the discovery, detectives went to Smith’s residence in north Charlotte and arrested him. Smith did not put up any resistance, police said. He was being questioned by detectives at daybreak Thursday.

Monroe said Tanner’s relatives had been told that a body had been found.

Tanner, 31, was reported missing June 8. She had moved to Charlotte from Greensboro recently with her 3-year-old son and was hoping to land a job as a teacher at West Charlotte High School, as part of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ Project LIFT program.

Police said Smith was the last person known to have seen Tanner.

He told police she walked out of their apartment on Druid Circle in north Charlotte after an argument. According to a police search warrant, Tanner’s 3-year-old son told investigators that Smith had struck Tanner with a belt and “hurt Mommy in the face.”

Police filed a contributing to the delinquency of a minor charge against Smith, and he was arrested last week in Chicago. His attorney, Kenneth Snow, said Smith had gone to Chicago to stay with relatives because he had received threats in Charlotte.

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

A judge initially set bail for Smith at $100,000, but during a hearing Wednesday, Snow convinced a judge to reduce the bond to $20,000, because the delinquency charge was a misdemeanor.

On Tuesday, Monroe told reporters that Smith was “a person of interest” in the case. The chief said Smith “has continued to mislead us ... to misdirect us as it relates to the circumstances of Ms. Tanner’s disappearance.”

Speaking about Smith’s behavior in recent days, Monroe said, “His actions continue ... to disturb us.”

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