Wanted: Polk County man accused of killing girlfriend, deputies say

Larry Smith accused of fatally shooting longtime partner

Larry Smith
Larry Smith (WKMG 2021)

POLK COUNTY, Fla. – Detectives with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office are looking for a man accused of killing his girlfriend of 20-years.

According to a news release, Tashia Smith, 40, was reported missing on June 26. Deputies said she was later found shot to death but did not disclose any additional details of her murder.

Detectives said Tashia Smith was last seen by her sister on July 25 around 9:36 a.m. at the Wingstop restaurant in Lakeland where she worked. She was supposed to return to work around 5 p.m. the same day but never arrived, according to the news release.

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Sheriff Grady Judd said in a statement Larry Smith, 57, is wanted, accused of shooting and killing his longtime partner.

“There was a history of domestic violence perpetrated by Tashia Smith’s boyfriend against her. Larry Smith is a dangerous man, and we need to lock him up,” Judd said.

Larry Smith has a prior criminal history and has served four prison sentences, according to the sheriff’s office. His previous charges include burglary, armed robbery and aggravated assaults among other violent crimes.

Anyone who has information about Larry Smith’s whereabouts is asked to call Detective Coggins at 863-298-6200 or to remain anonymous and claim a $5,000 reward call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS (8477).