Before Murder, Marine's Wife Surprised Him With NC Visit

Esteban Smith's mom has no idea what prompted killings
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 29, 2013 10:19 AM CDT
Cars enter the main gate at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, NC on Friday, Dec. 2, 2005.   (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

(Newser) – Esteban Smith, the Marine accused of going on a random shooting spree in Texas on Sunday after killing his wife, had just married Rubi Estefania Smith in December. She recently traveled from their California hometown to North Carolina, where he was stationed at Camp Lejeune, to surprise him, Smith's mother tells the AP. She has no idea what happened and didn't know of any problems between the couple, but says, "Maybe they argued and he went crazy." Rubi Estefania Smith was found dead of a knife wound in a Jacksonville motel room near Camp Lejeune.

As for why Smith would then have traveled to Texas, "maybe he was driving home" to Bakersfield, his mother said. "That's the road he would take." Eden, Texas, where Smith allegedly killed one person and hurt five others before dying in a shootout with police, is more than 22 hours from Jacksonville by car. Smith's mother insists he was "a very bright, quiet, calm man. He was the type of person that would not even like when you would raise your voice." She says he was planning to leave the military and go to college for mechanical engineering. He had served two tours in Afghanistan. (Read more Esteban Smith stories.)

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