By Chuck Strouse
By Scott Fishman
By Terrence McCoy
By Ryan Yousefi
By Ciara LaVelle, Kat Bein, Carolina Del Busto, and Liz Tracy
By Pepe Billete
By Ryan Yousefi
By Kyle Swenson
0600 hours Surveillance established.
0653 hoursT1 [Teele] left Plaza Venetia in the Hyundai.
0727 hoursT1 arrived at the Tri-Rail Station at I-95 and Hollywood Boulevard. T1 parked and an unknown black female (B/F) with a three- to four-year-old child walked over. T1 exited his vehicle and walked with the B/F and child to the train station. The B/F is described as being 19 to 23 years old, 5'03", thin to medium build, wearing blue jean pants and a blue jean/no sleeve jacket.
At this point, Detectives Bullard and White exited our vehicles and walked into the train station separately. The witness accounts of both detectives are as follows:
Bullard: T1 met with the B/F and child and walked to the train station. T1 interacted with the B/F and child as if he was very familiar with them. T1 was extremely nervous, looking around at anyone walking and at vehicles. T1, the B/F, and the child walked toward T1's vehicle, holding hands. T1 opened his trunk and was out of sight. T1 left in his vehicle, and the B/F and child remained at the station. Bullard remained near the B/F and observed her to be extremely happy with the envelope.
Bullard said hello to the B/F, and a conversation ensued. Bullard gathered the following information: The B/F was identified as Vandesha Smith, known as "Van." Van works as the manager of the spa at the Wyndham Hotel (Nassau) and resides in Nassau, Bahamas. Van was en route to Orlando to visit her sister. Van was visiting someone in Fort Lauderdale but would not disclose who. Van stated she stayed at the Wyndham Hotel on Griffin Road in Fort Lauderdale, and stated she gets the room for only $25 a night. Van requested Bullard call her at work next week. Van believes Bullard is a full-time student and a part-time employee at the University of Miami. Van stated she is not married or involved, and only has "friends." Van's son is four years old. Based on an overheard phone conversation in Bullard's presence, the child is called "CJ." CJ requires urgent medical testing for an unknown disorder. Based upon Bullard's observations, the child was violent with Van and would not listen to her commands.
White: T1 and the B/F talked as they appeared to wait for a train arrival. An announcement came over the intercom that the train was late. After about 15 to 20 minutes, T1 and the B/F with the child walked toward T1's vehicle. As they walked, T1 and the B/F were holding hands. T1 appeared very nervous, as he continually looked around at vehicles and anybody walking nearby. T1 opened his trunk, pulled out a manila colored envelope, and handed it to the B/F. T1 kissed the B/F and she walked away with the child. T1 left at 0749 hours.
0749 hours T1 left the train station and was lost due to heavy traffic on Hollywood Boulevard.
This investigator responded to the Tri-Rail Station and obtained a copy of the passenger list. An examination of the list revealed a passenger by the name of Vandette Smith who was traveling with another passenger by the name of Charon Penn. This writer obtained a copy of Vandette P. Smith's Florida driver's license. Detective Mark Bullard positively identified Vandette P. Smith as the black female who identified herself as Van at the Tri-Rail Station and met with Arthur Teele. There are no public records for Charon Penn.
Vandette SmithAt approximately 1045 hours, this investigator contacted Vandette Smith via cellular phone and engaged her in a casual conversation. The following is a summary of that discussion:
Vandette admitted that she was attracted to this investigator. Vandette stated that she was possibly coming to Ft. Lauderdale this weekend; however, the threat of the hurricane changed her mind.
Vandette wants to visit this investigator; however, her funds will be low next week. Vandette concluded by saying that she would love to come to Florida and spend some time with this investigator. Note: This investigator advised Vandette that her plane fare would be paid for if she decides to visit; however, she must notify this investigator at least one week before she decides to come. She agreed and said goodbye.
On Monday, October 11, 2004, at approximately 0730 hours, Van contacted this investigator by telephone and advised that she was in Ft. Lauderdale apartment-hunting; however, she was staying at the Wyndham Hotel in Coconut Grove. Van stated that she would be returning to her hotel soon and wanted this investigator to meet her there. This investigator agreed and the conversation ended.
Detective Juan Koop, the lead investigator, was immediately notified and subsequently assembled a team to respond to the Wyndham [Grand Bay] Hotel. This investigator had no further contact with Van at this point.
Sergeant Frank Frisenda, Detective Alex Chuckman, and Detective Dorothy Dorsett confirmed that Smith was, in fact, occupying a room in the hotel. These investigators and security director Frank Perez responded to Smith's room, identified ourselves, and served her with a duly issued witness subpoena. Smith agreed to accompany these investigators to the State Attorney's Office and give a statement concerning her knowledge and/or involvement with Arthur E. Teele, Jr.