Troubling voicemail preceded Cannon Beach murder, assault

VANCOUVER -- A custody evaluation filed by Jessica Smith's estranged husband last month claimed her actions, including what sounded like a scripted voicemail from the couple's teen daughter, were affecting the well-being of their children.

Now Jessica is accused of murdering their 2-year-old daughter and critically injuring their 13-year-old daughter in a Cannon Beach hotel.

Background: Mom accused of murdering toddler at Cannon Beach hotel

Her husband, Greg Smith, filed the evaluation request on July 21. He asked for a custody evaluation based partly on an "extremely worrisome" voicemail his 13-year-old daughter left him on July 15.

"The language [she] used is not typical of someone her age and it sounds as though she is reading from something that Jessica scripted," Greg Smith declares in the petition.

He says she made statements like, "I can't sleep very well because I'm tormented by the thought of you in our lives" and "It's terrifying and cruel of you not to respect us."

But he says he has never had a negative relationship with either of his daughters. Greg asked for the custody evaluation because he said Jessica was manipulating their daughters.

In a divorce petition filed on June 30, Greg says the two were married in 1996 and he told Jessica in November, 2013, that he wanted out of the marriage.

He claims that in April he told her he was moving out and she told him to leave immediately. Since then, he has not been allowed to see or talk with his daughters, according to the declaration.

Jessica later moved the kids from Goldendale, Washington to Vancouver without his permission, he says.

Jessica filed for an emergency order of protection against Greg on July 17, alleging stalking, harassment, and verbal abuse. She claims in the order that he inflicted "daily mental, emotional abuse, bullying, physical and verbal abuse of pets in front of" her and their children.

She says their teen daughter begged for the restraining order because she doesn't trust him.

"I also feel threatened because of his ability to lie and evade truth and reality," she says in the order. "We are deeply distressed and unable to rest well at night for fear of what he might be capable of."

She asked that he be forbidden from coming within 10 miles of her home and ordered to psychotherapy for his "dangerous and abusive behaviors."

Her petition was denied.

Greg maintains he was the one being bullied.

"My efforts to see the girls or communicate via phone calls have been thwarted or ignored," he says in the divorce petition. "Jessica allows my parents to see the kids, but only if they promise not to share photos with me."

He asked for a flexible schedule in which he would see the girls at least every other weekend. Jessica was eventually ordered to turn the girls over to their father on Friday, August 1.

It was that same morning when a hotel housekeeper found the Smiths' 2-year-old daughter Isabella dead inside a room at the Surfsand Resort in Cannon Beach. The couple's 13-year-old daughter had suffered critical injuries and is now recovering at Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland.

Police began searching for Jessica on Friday and her SUV was eventually spotted by a Coast Guard helicopter crew Sunday night. She was arrested on charges of aggravated murder and attempted aggravated murder.

Greg and his family issued the following statement through law enforcement officials Sunday:

We are extremely grateful for the outpouring of sympathy and support from Cannon Beach and the surrounding communities. We would also like to thank all the law enforcement agencies for their tireless efforts. Special thanks is given to the caregivers and other support individuals for their empathy and skilled care of our whole family.

Our family is working through a very difficult time, and we would request that our privacy be respected. If, in the future, any member of the family wishes to speak with media, we will reach out directly or through police officials. Thank you.


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