'Person of interest' named in death of Sherman teen - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

'Person of interest' named in death of Sherman teen

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Mikayla Mitchell's body was found in a South Dallas pond on July 16, 2017. (KTEN) Mikayla Mitchell's body was found in a South Dallas pond on July 16, 2017. (KTEN)
Police say they consider Darnell Dwight Smith as a person of interest in the death of Mikayla Mitchell. (KTEN) Police say they consider Darnell Dwight Smith as a person of interest in the death of Mikayla Mitchell. (KTEN)

We are learning more about the homicide case involving Mikayla Mitchell, the 17-year-old Sherman girl who was found dead in a South Dallas pond last July 16.

A Dallas police investigator who has been working on the case says they now have a person of interest in this case, and he is already in federal custody for a different crime.

But Mitchell's final days include another shocking crime.

"She was involved in an incident a week prior to her death," said Dallas Police Department Det. Steven David.

Mitchell was allegedly abducted and assaulted in Midland, Texas, on July 10. The teen was then taken 130 miles east to Merkel, Texas, just outside Abilene, where she was able to escape and return home.

But just one week later, Mitchell was found dead in Dallas.

"Near Rochester Park, a lake area known as Bear Lake," David said. 

Police have now named a person of interest in this murder case: Darnell Dwight Smith, also known as "Slick Rick," who is currently in custody on federal drug charges.

Investigators say they hope that now Smith is in jail, others will come forward with more information.

"He is not in jail for her murder, but he is still a person of interest," the Dallas detective said.

The Taylor County, Texas, Sheriff's Office said Smith was a suspect in a call they responded to on July 10, but he was never arrested.

Smith has been arrested numerous times in Grayson County, most recently for assault and family violence by the Denison Police Department.

"You name it, I've talked to them up there in Sherman... different people that she's associated with, people that he's associated with," said David. "Unfortunately, I've kind of come to some dead-ends."

Mitchell was also the stepdaughter of Sherman Dr. Howard Gregg Diamond, who was arrested for his own federal drug charges, but police tell us the two cases are completely unrelated.

"When we first found out who she was and found out who he was in relation to her, you know, it had to cross your mind," David said. "But through the investigation I haven't seen anything at all leading to anything to do with him."

KTEN reached out to Mitchell's family for comment, but have not yet heard back.

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