WANTED: Deputies search for Polk Co. man accused of murdering girlfriend

Polk County

AUBURNDALE, Fla. (WFLA) — The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is looking for a man they believe murdered his girlfriend after she was found dead in her Auburndale home Monday.

The sister of Tashia Smith, 40, reported her missing Monday morning to the Lakeland Police Department. Tashia Smith’s sister saw her at her job at the Lakeland Wing-Stop at around 9:36 a.m. Sunday, but she never came back to work later that evening.

Homicide detectives would later find Tashia Smith dead from multiple gunshots, determining that her boyfriend of 20 years, 57-year-old Larry Smith, was the suspect in her murder.

“There was a history of domestic violence perpetrated by Tashia Smith’s boyfriend against her,” Sheriff Grady Judd said. “Larry Smith is a dangerous man, and we need to lock him up.”

The sheriff’s office said Larry Smith’s has previously been charged with 21 felonies and 18 misdemeanors, including burglary, armed robbery, false imprisonment, aggravated assaults, and numerous batteries. According to the PCSO, he has been to prison four times.

If you know where he is, call Detective Coggins at 863-298-6200, or you can send an anonymous tip to Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS (8477). There is a $5,000 reward.

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