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Family, detectives seek answers in Spring Hill cold case

Alek Smith, 22, was shot and killed after multiple gunmen entered his home in Spring Hill, according to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office

SPRING HILL, Fla. — It has been four years since a man was shot and killed in his Spring Hill home and the person or people responsible have yet to be found.

In the early morning hours of Oct. 16, 2018, detectives said Alek Smith, 22, was killed when someone broke into his home on Legend Street.

Smith's fiance, Victoria Casey, was there the night he died. She said the evening began like any other. She put their daughter to bed and then went to sleep herself.

"It was basically what seemed like a normal night," Casey said. "And then I'm waking up with somebody in my face, a mask on, and a gun in my face."

Casey said the experience has been traumatic.

"I don't think I'll ever get that feeling back being safe in my own home," she said.

After four years of looking for answers, she said she wants justice not just for herself, but their daughter, Gabby, who is now 6-years-old. 

"She still asks about him. She still cries for him sometimes," Casey said. "She is like her dad's little twin. She's very athletic and she's competitive. So we've got her in sports along with being in therapy."

The Hernando County Sheriff's Office continues to look for leads in the cold case. With an additional $5,000 reward from the Florida Sheriff's Association's Criminal Apprehension Assistance Program (CAAP), the reward for information leading to the arrest of those involved now sits at $10,000. 

Florida Sheriff's Association's President Al Nienhuis is also the Hernando County Sheriff. He hopes the $10,000 reward will entice those who know something about this crime to speak up. 

"We're always sure that somebody knows something," Nienhuis said. "Oftentimes, we have a tremendous amount of information in a case and we may even have some really good suspects, but we just need that little tiny bit of information to push the case over the top to the point where the prosecutor is willing to actually take that case to trial."

Neinhuis said most violent crime is not random, and his detectives will stay on this case until they break it. 

"Bottom line is law enforcement has an infinite memory and we never give up. Even when people retire, those cases are reassigned. We have cases that we're still working and are close to solving. But sometimes they are 20, or 25 years old. So the perpetrators need to keep looking over their shoulders because we only need to get lucky once," Neinhuis said.

While nothing can bring her family back together, Casey said those who tore her family apart must be brought to justice. 

"You can't just do something so horrible. You take somebody's life in front of their fiance and their two-year-old," Casey said. "It kills me that these people are living their everyday lives, probably not even thinking about what they did to us."

Anyone who has information about this case is asked to call Detective Tom
Cameron at 352-754-6830. Those who would prefer to remain anonymous can submit tips to Hernando County Crime Stoppers at 1-866-990-TIPS (8477) or online.   

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