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Press Release

Rashad Trice, Who Killed Two-Year-Old Wynter Cole-Smith, Pleads Guilty To Kidnapping Resulting In Death

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Michigan

Faces Mandatory Life Sentence


          GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN — U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan Mark Totten today announced that Rashad Trice, 27, pled guilty to Kidnapping Resulting in Death. Trice was indicted in July 2023 for Kidnapping Resulting in Death and Kidnapping a Minor. Sentencing is scheduled to proceed at 3 p.m. on July 19, before U.S. District Court Judge Robert J. Jonker. Trice faces a mandatory life sentence.

          “What happened is heart-wrenching, but today marks an important step forward as we seek justice for Wynter Cole-Smith’s family and the people of Michigan,” said U.S. Attorney Mark Totten. “I’m incredibly grateful to FBI Michigan, the Lansing Police Department, and the more than two dozen other local, state, and federal partners who came running to help.”

          As part of his plea agreement attached, Trice admitted that he kidnapped two-year-old Wynter Cole-Smith from her home in Lansing, Michigan on July 2, 2023, after a dispute with her mother. Trice took Wynter and drove to an alley in Detroit where he killed her and left her body. Investigators discovered her remains three days later.

          According to the initial complaint, on July 2, 2023, a woman reported to the Lansing Police Department that she had been attacked by Trice and ultimately fled her apartment to escape him. When police responded to her apartment, Trice and the woman’s daughter, Cole-Smith, were no longer present. A white Chevrolet Impala had also allegedly been stolen. On July 3, police attempted to stop the white Chevrolet Impala in St. Clair Shores and the driver attempted to flee. Police apprehended the driver, Trice, but Cole-Smith was not in the car. Cell site information showed the approximate path Trice’s phone had recently taken, which prompted law enforcement to start conducting searches for Cole-Smith in specific areas. On July 5, 2023, law enforcement found Cole-Smith’s body in Detroit. Previous press releases can be viewed below.

          “Thank you to U.S. Attorney Mark Totten and his office for bringing this case across the finish line,” said Lansing Police Chief Ellery Sosebee. “My hope is this will give Wynter’s family, friends, and all of the law enforcement partners who were and are still affected by this tragedy a sense of closure.”

          “Our primary objective during this investigation and judicial proceedings was to ensure justice for Wynter Cole-Smith and her family,” said Cheyvoryea Gibson, the Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Michigan. “We stand in solidarity with our law enforcement partners to hold Rashad Trice accountable for his actions and bring closure to the family so they may begin to heal.”

          This case was investigated by the FBI and Lansing Police Department, along with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Secret Service, Federal Air Marshal Service, Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan, Michigan State Police, Michigan State University Department of Police and Public Safety, Michigan Department of Corrections, Ingham County Sheriff’s Office, Ingham County Prosecutor’s Office, Eaton County Sheriff's Office, Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, Macomb County Sheriff's Office, Detroit Police Department, Detroit Public Schools Community District Department of Public Safety, Eastpointe Police Department, St. Clair Shores Police Department, Bloomfield Hills Police Department, Dearborn Police Department, Sterling Heights Police Department, West Bloomfield Police Department, Bloomfield Police Department, Southfield Police Department, Northville Township Police Department, and Clinton Township Police Department.

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Updated March 22, 2024

Violent Crime