Fugitive on Colorado ‘Most Wanted’ list arrested in Council Bluffs

Jesse W. Smith was arrested in Council Bluffs on outstanding felony warrants from Colorado.
Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 6:15 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (WOWT) - Council Bluffs Police have located the suspect in connection to a suspicious death.

Jesse W. Smith, 49, previously of Denver, Colo., was arrested on charges from outstanding warrants in Colorado, including 3rd-degree sexual abuse and fugitive from justice.

As of Aug. 9, Smith was No. 2 on Colorado’s list of Most Wanted Sex Offenders.

Emergency personnel were called to the Super 8 motel in Council Bluffs on South 24th Street at about 3:10 p.m. Thursday after a woman was found unresponsive.

Jesse W. Smith, 49
Jesse W. Smith, 49(Council Bluffs Police Department)

The victim was identified as Natalia Victoria Manriquez Sepulveda, 35, a native of Chile. She had been employed as a housekeeper at the hotel.

Investigators later determined she had died “under suspicious circumstances,” although the final results of the autopsy are still pending.

Thanks to security footage, authorities were able to identify Smith as a suspect and locate him Friday afternoon.

Investigators believe Smith has been living in the Omaha and Council Bluffs metro area for several years, using an assumed name in order to evade the charges in Colorado.

Once investigators learned Smith had extraditable arrest warrants from Colorado, he was taken into custody and booked into Pottawattamie County Jail.