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Suspect due in court today

The 32-year-old man accused of abducting 12-year-old former South Boston resident Brittany Mae Smith was returned to Roanoke County Wednesday evening where he was formally charged with abduction.

Jeffrey Scott Easley is being held without bond in the Roanoke County Jail.

Accompanied by authorities on each side, Easley stepped off a plane at Roanoke Regional Airport around 8:30 Wednesday night.
He was taken to an unmarked police van that carried him to the jail.

He was scheduled for arraignment at 2:30 p.m. Thursday in Roanoke County; however, the arraignment was postponed due to inclement weather, according to Teresa Hamilton Hall, Roanoke County Police Department spokesperson.

Now Easley is scheduled to appear in Roanoke County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court today at 1 p.m., Hall said.

He is being held under special observation per the county’s sheriff’s office medical department, according to Hall.

Hall said this “is common practice when anyone comes in under these circumstances.”

Easley is accused of abducting 12-year-old Brittany Smith and taking her across the country to San Francisco where the pair was found last Friday following a weeklong search.

Smith was reunited with her father, South Boston Police Officer Benny H. Smith, and other family members, and she returned to South Boston early Tuesday morning.

Easley and Smith were found last Friday in San Francisco after a weeklong nationwide search.

In addition to the abduction charge, Easley also faces credit card fraud charges, and police said he is a suspect in the murder of 41-year-old Tina Smith, Brittany’s mother.

Roanoke County Police found the body of Tina Smith on Dec. 6 in the Salem home she shared with her daughter and Easley.