CAMDENTON, Missouri- 27-year-old Danielle Smith and her mother, 61-year-old Teresa Jackson were found dead after a suspicious mobile home fire in Camdenton, Missouri on August 29th. The blaze has been ruled as arson and their neighbor, Steven Ray Endsley, 54, an Army veteran, has been arrested and accused of murdering them. An autopsy has shown the victims were killed before the fire.
The FBI is investigating whether the attack was a hate crime based on an on-going dispute involving Smith’s sexual orientation.
A recent Facebook post by Endsley contained an anti-gay slur:
“Here we are, raising money for Danielle and Terri. We are saddened to have lost 2 amazing people that loved everyone. Danielle would always do what she could to help someone else, if she was able, without question. Our hearts are broken by the loss of Danielle and Terri. I am only asking people to help with what you can. I want to make sure they have a proper service. As her sister, this is the last thing I thought I would have to do. As her sister, I want to make sure that she and Terri are taken care of properly.
Thank you for any help that you can give,” Smith wrote on the page.