LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A man is in police custody on a murder charge for allegedly stabbing and killing a woman he previously dated late last year.
The woman, 41-year-old Felicia Smith, was discovered in December when a family member stopped by her apartment because she couldn’t be reached.
Las Vegas Metropolitan police said 33-year-old Michael Ralston was arrested on Wednesday, Jan. 18 by the Criminal Apprehension Team, a multi-jurisdictional task force.
The victim’s body was found in a bedroom closet in her home on Dec. 28, 2022 around 7:45 p.m. Police said she was suffering from apparent stab wounds in her thigh and forearm and was pronounced dead at the scene, documents said.
The investigation revealed the victim was dropped off at her apartment by a family member on W. Charleston Boulevard between Rainbow Boulevard and Buffalo Drive on the night before. The following day, family members were unable to reach her and decided someone should stop by her apartment to check on her.
The family member who discovered the victim’s body told police that the victim had dated a man in the past named “Mike” whom her parents did not approve of. The person said that “Mike” had been in prison and the victim’s family believed he was only interested in the victim for sexual purposes, according to documents.
The victim’s family had previously told “Mike” to stay away from the victim and they said they had not heard from him for about a year, according to documents.
Several old letters in the victim’s home were addressed to Michael Ralston, documents said. Investigators found a blue envelope with the name “Mike” and hearts written on the front and a photo of the victim and Ralston together, documents said.
A piece of paper with the name Michael Ralston and an address for the Southern Desert Correctional Center was also discovered, while the victim’s cell phone and other personal items were missing from the scene, documents said.
Video surveillance later showed a man police identified as Ralston walking near the victim’s apartment complex around 10:20 a.m. on the day her body was discovered, according to documents.
Nevada Department of Corrections documents show Ralston served time for assault with a deadly weapon and attempted grand larceny.
Ralston was being held at the Clark County Detention Center Thursday on charges of open murder and petit larceny, according to jail records. He is scheduled to make a court appearance on Jan. 24