ST. JOHN'S COUNTY, Fla. – The mother of 14-year-old Aiden Fucci, who is accused of murdering 13-year-old Tristyn Bailey, has been arrested and charged with tampering with evidence, according to an arrest warrant.
According to the warrant, Crystal Lane Smith, 35, was arrested Saturday after investigators reviewed video surveillance obtained from the home on the day the 13-year-old girl was reported missing that showed Smith going into the boy’s room to get a pair of blue jeans and took it to the bathroom to scrub them in the sink. She then took the jeans to the master bedroom “for a period of time,” according to the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office.
The St. John’s County Sheriff’s Office said Smith surrendered to authorities at the sheriff’s office Saturday.
“Crystal Smith will be held responsible for her role in this case and justice will be served for Tristyn Bailey and her family,” Sheriff Robert Hardwick said in a statement.
The sheriff’s office said the video surveillance confirmed Fucci was wearing jeans the night of May 8 and early May 9. Deputies arrived to Fucci’s home on May 9 to question him on Bailey’s whereabouts. He later left with deputies to show them where he was last with the 13-year-old girl.
When the boy left with deputies, the sheriff’s office said video showed his mother retrieving the jeans and scrubbing them around 12:55 p.m. According to the arrest warrant, a witness was at the home with Smith around 1:05 p.m. and Smith went into the master bedroom to get the jeans.
The two then were “inspecting the jeans several times” before the jeans were put back in Fucci’s room. According to deputies, the witness told authorities Smith showed the jeans to her to check if she saw anything and told Smith that she “could get in trouble for washing the jeans.”
Deputies said at one point during the investigation, the boy was in an interview room with Smith and his father when the parents “asked him about anything that would be on his clothes” from the night before. When Fucci responded he was wearing blue jeans, his mother asked if he was sure nothing was on it. According to the warrant, Fucci responded, “I think so, why?” and his mother then gave him a “questioning” look and whispered, “Blood.”
Investigators found the jeans in the boy’s bedroom, which tested positive for the presence of blood, according to the warrant. Smith faces tampering with evidence charges, which is a third-degree felony in Florida, according to the state attorney’s office.
Prosecutors said last week they have charged the 14-year-old as an adult on first-degree murder charges in the homicide of Bailey after reviewing all of the evidence showing the young victim suffered a “horrific” attack before her death. Fucci is scheduled to be arraigned on June 10. He’s being held without bond.
Bailey was found stabbed to death May 9 in a wooded area near her St. Johns County home. State Attorney R.J. Larizza said that Bailey was stabbed 114 times, with at least 49 stab wounds to her hands, arms and head that were defensive in nature.