breaking news


Diplomatic Security special agent, former Dayton police officer, found dead in Potomac River

Published: Thursday, August 31, 2017 @ 11:52 PM
Updated: Friday, September 01, 2017 @ 12:19 AM

Kurt Smolek was reported missing earlier this week. His body was found in the Potomac River in Washington, D.C. Wednesday. He graduated from the Dayton Police Academy in 1998.

UPDATE @ 12:45 p.m. (Sept. 1):

Shock and sadness is how one former Dayton Police officer who went through the academy with Kurt Smolek described her reaction to news of Smolek’s untimely death.

WATCH: Kettering police video that captured fatal officer-involved shooting 

Julie Swisher, a 10 year veteran of the department who is no longer serving, remembers Kurt well and said the 88th Dayton Police Academy class was planning for a reunion next month.  

Swisher said the bond the recruits have never goes away.

“He was just a real fun loving person. The best thing I remember about him is how much he enjoyed being a father. He was just a great dad, a great friend,” said Swisher.

“He was a good cop, he loves his country, he loves his city, he loved being a police officer, we were all really tight.”

More local headlines here

Smolek left the Dayton Police Department in 2003 and began working for the federal government. 

“He's been traveling all over the country, other countries, he's had some very high positions of authority,” said Swisher, “he's made us proud."

Swisher said Smolek had just been assigned to a new position in August in D.C., in fact another academy classmate, now in the military, was working in a building right next door to Smolek, said Swisher.

“My prayer was maybe Kurt was being Kurt, and he just got in his car and was going to drive to Texas and was going to help people. That's the kind of person he is," said Swisher. “I was hoping that's all it was. Several hours later I got the word that they had pulled his body out of the river in Washington. Very sad. I’m still in shock.”

This newsroom has requested autopsy reports which should determine Kurt Smolek’s cause of death. 

FIRST REPORT:

Kurt Smolek, a Diplomatic Security special agent with the State Department and a former Dayton police officer, was found dead in the Potomac River on Wednesday and the cause is listed as undetermined pending an autopsy. 

We're hearing tonight that Smolek, 45, is a 1998 Dayton police academy graduate and one of his assignments as a special agent was as a member of Condoleezza Rice's security team.  

According to DC Metro police, Smolek was last seen Monday, Aug. 28, in the 600 block of Water Street, Southwest, about 10 p.m. A missing persons bulletin described hims as white with graying brown hair, brown eyes, 5 feet 8 inches tall and 190 pounds. 

This is the Dayton Police Academy 88th academy class. Kurt Smolek is third from the left, wearing the gray sweatshirt. (Contributed)

According to the bulletin, Smolek was last seen wearing a blue oxford shirt, khaki pants and was operating a gray 2011 GMC Terrain SUV with tinted windows bearing Virginia tags XGG6532.  

Diplomatic Security Services of the Department of State is charged with global responsibilities, including the safeguarding of American diplomatic personnel, property and classified information. DSS also has jurisdiction over classified communications, such as secure email and other platforms.  

Thursday, Spero News reported the following statement, attributed to Christian Schurman, deputy assistant secretary of state and assistant director for International Programs: 

 "It is with great sadness that I share with you the news of the death of Diplomatic Security Special Agent Kurt Smolek. Kurt was found deceased today and the DS [Diplomatic Security agency] is working closely with local authorities to investigate the circumstances of his death. Please keep the Smolek family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time."

Trending - Most Read Stories

SURVEILLANCE: Kettering home invasion suspects charged

Published: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 @ 2:54 PM
Updated: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 @ 8:24 AM

Police say two men they arrested had “knowledge” of victim’s home. Video courtesy of Kettering police

UPDATE @ 4:17 p.m. (April 24):

Two men arrested on suspicion of a home invasion in Kettering have been charged.

Kendal Trullinger and Gage Smith are each charged with aggravated robbery, robbery and aggravated burglary, according to records.

Trullinger remained in jail Tuesday afternoon, however Smith was no longer in custody.

Both men are scheduled to be back in court on April 27.

UPDATE @ 2:57 p.m. (April 18):

Surveillance video obtained by this news organization, and verified by police shows, the two men who are accused of a home invasion on Fairacres Drive before and after the alleged incident.

UPDATE @ 12:13 p.m. (April 18):

Kettering police have identified the two men arrested for their suspected role in a home invasion on Fairacres Drive Tuesday morning.

Kendel Ray Trullinger, 20, and Gage Smith, 18, were both arrested on suspicion of aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary, according to a Kettering police report.

Formal charges in the case have not yet been filed, according to court records.

Police tracked two men down hours after the crime and made arrests. Video courtesy of Kettering police

UPDATE @ 8:25 a.m. (April 18): 

Arrests have been made in connection to a home invasion robbery in Kettering Tuesday morning, according to a police spokesperson. 

The identities of those arrested were not immediately available. 

FIRST REPORT (April 17):

Two men held the occupant of a Kettering home at gunpoint during a home invasion robbery Tuesday morning, according to police.

TRENDING: Records: School worried ex-teacher flirted a year before sex charges

Officers responded to the home in the 900 block of Fairacres Drive in Kettering around 10 a.m. after a caller reported the robbery occurred about an hour before. 

The victim said two men climbed into the house through a window, pointed a gun at the victim who was in a bedroom at the time of the robbery, according to initial details from Kettering police. 

Both men began to steal items from the victim before fleeing the area, according to police and initial reports. 

Police said they have suspect descriptions, but they were not immediately available to be released. 

It was not known if anyone inside the home was injured. 

We’ll update this page as new details become available. 

Trending - Most Read Stories

REPORT: Coroner called to multiple-vehicle accident in Riverside

Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 @ 4:02 PM

Police and medic units have been dispatched to a multiple-vehicle accident at Woodman Drive and Airway Road, and we’re hearing the coroner has been called to the scene as well.

The accident was dispatched about 3:45 p.m. and we’re hearing there is at least one entrapment. We’re also hearing that four medic units from area jurisdictions have been dispatched to the scene.

We have a crew on the way. Stay with whio.com for breaking news.

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com

Trending - Most Read Stories

Passing showers, fog tonight

Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 @ 3:36 AM

Storm Center 7's Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs talks about what to expect today and tomorrow.

>> Live Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

QUICK-LOOK FORECAST

  • Showers taper off with fog possible tonight
  • Clouds to slowly break late Wednesday
  • Drying out, mild for the weekend

>> 5-Day Forecast

DETAILED FORECAST

THIS EVENING:  Skies will remain cloudy with passing showers or drizzle. Temperatures will hold in the lower to middle 50s.

TONIGHT: Clouds will linger with a chance for fog. Temperatures will drop into the upper 40s.

WEDNESDAY: Patchy areas of fog will be possible in the morning along with some light rain or drizzle. Conditions will dry out in the afternoon with clouds slowly breaking late in the day. Highs will be near 60 degrees.

>>County-by-County Weather

THURSDAY: Skies will be partly cloudy with highs in the lower 60s.

FRIDAY: Clouds will be on the increase. There will be a chance for some passing showers, mainly late in the day. Highs will reach back into the middle 60s.

SATURDAY: Skies will become mostly sunny with highs in the lower 60s.

SUNDAY: Sunny skies will end the weekend. Temperatures will make it back into the lower 60s for highs.

Trending - Most Read Stories

DASH CAM: Vehicle strikes Tipp City cruiser during pursuit 

Published: Friday, April 13, 2018 @ 4:14 AM
Updated: Friday, April 13, 2018 @ 5:04 AM

A Tipp City police cruiser was struck by two suspects in the break-in at the Troy Verizon store near Kroger.

UPDATE @ 3:42 p.m.:

Cruiser camera video from a chase involving burglars who broke into a Troy Verizon store and struck a Tipp City police cruiser has been released.

The burglars were able to escape police.

INITIAL REPORT:

A Tipp City police cruiser was rammed by suspects fleeing a break-in at a cell phone store in Troy this morning.

Around 3:40 a.m., police responded to a Verizon store in the 700 block of W. Market Street on the report of a break-in after a Kroger employee reported hearing a brick being thrown through the store’s front glass. 

A pursuit started when a Tipp City officer noticed the suspect vehicle on southbound Interstate 75.

>> Pair napped in Kettering pursuit were in Miami County chase, too

The suspect vehicle rammed a Tipp City police cruiser on Northwoods Boulevard in Vandalia, said Tipp City police Sgt. Marc Basye. The officer was not injured.

SCENE: Troy break-in leads to pursuit through several counties

The silver vehicle was occupied by three males, according to reports.

The pursuit continued into Montgomery County, and officers lost the vehicle in the area of Dorset and Philadelphia drives.

It’s unknown what the suspects were able to get away with. They were believed to be in a stolen vehicle.

This story will be updated as additional information becomes available.

Trending - Most Read Stories