Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Chief Rodney Monroe said Tuesday that Angelo Grayson Smith Jr. is “a person of interest to us” in the disappearance of his girlfriend, Bianca Tanner.
Monroe made the comments shortly after police took Smith to the Mecklenburg County jail, where he was booked on a charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Police said Smith was the last person to see Tanner, a teacher, before she disappeared. No one has been arrested in the case.
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Smith was taken into custody last week in Chicago on the contributing to the delinquency charge, which police said relates to Tanner’s son. Smith spent the weekend in the Cook County Jail and then waived extradition to Charlotte during a court hearing Monday.
He was brought to Charlotte early Tuesday and apparently questioned by detectives before being taken to jail.
Smith was originally given a $100,000 bond for the misdemeanor charge. On Wednesday, his bond was reduced to $20,000. If he posts the bond, he will be placed on house arrest and electronic monitoring by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.
Surrounded by a cordon of news media members, Smith was taken by detectives about 20 feet from CMPD headquarters to a patrol car. When asked if he knew anything about Tanner’s disappearance, Smith shook his head no. He made no comments.
Monroe said Smith “has continued to mislead us ... to misdirect us as it relates to the circumstances of Ms. Tanner’s disappearance.”
Speaking about Smith’s behavior in recent days, Monroe said, “His actions continue ... to disturb us.”
Smith’s attorney, Kenneth Snow, told reporters that Smith was not on the run but was in Chicago because he had received threats.
Smith was the last person to see Tanner, who moved to Charlotte from Greensboro last month, looking to be in a bigger city. She had a lead on a job with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ Project LIFT, which seeks to improve educational opportunities for students at West Charlotte High and its eight feeder schools.
Smith told police that Tanner walked out of their apartment just north of uptown after an argument on June 7. Two days later, police searched the apartment for evidence that Tanner had been assaulted by Smith.
Police obtained the search warrant after interviewing Tanner’s 3-year-old son. The boy told investigators Smith had struck Tanner with a belt and “hurt Mommy in the face.”
“Mommy got a spanking with the belt,” the search warrant quotes the child as saying. “Angelo kicked Mommy’s butt and made her cry. Angelo is mean to Mommy.”
Staff photographer T. Ortega Gaines and staff researcher Maria David contributed.