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Hinesville homicide suspect arrested in Brooklet

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Posted: March 8, 2007 4:13 p.m.
Updated: March 24, 2007 5:00 a.m.
    Investigators arrested a man in Brooklet Thursday they say is responsible for the murder of a Hinesville woman.
    Richard Geiger, 54, is suspected in the stabbing death of Rosie Smith, 50, whose body was found in a closet in her Raintree Apartment complex off Saunders Road Tuesday.
    Bulloch County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Gene McDaniel said Geiger was located Thursday "in a field, headed for the woods" when Bulloch County Sheriff's deputies and Hinesville Police arrived at his relative's home on Black Creek Church Road behind Southeast Bulloch High School.
    Sheriff's officials recognized Geiger from reports of the murder as a person who "looked familiar," having had dealings with local law enforcement previously, he said.
    Then deputies received an anonymous call that Geiger was visiting family on Black Creek Church Road, he said. Geiger is listed in sheriff's department records as having a Black Creek Church Road address, but McDaniel said he had been staying in Hinesville for a couple years.
    Geiger was arrested without incident, he said, and turned over to Hinesville Police, who took him back to Liberty County.
     Smith's estranged husband discovered her body stuffed into a closet in her apartment Tuesday night. The murder took place "just before 8 p.m.," said Maj. Thomas Cribbs, Hinesville Police chief of detectives.
    She was stabbed "once in the chest," and Geiger was established as a suspect because witnesses saw him leaving the area around the time Smith was killed, he said.
    There was no sign of struggle in the apartment, Cribbs said.
    Geiger and Smith had a history of " at least one other incident" of domestic violence, he said. "He alleged she stabbed him ... that case is still under investigation."
    Cribbs said Bulloch County Sheriff's officials and Brooklet Police were extremely helpful in Geiger's capture and he wished to thank both departments for their assistance.
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