Police Make Arrest in 2021 Beating Death of St. Croix Woman

Tyler Delroy Smith is escorted by a police officer following his arrest for first-degree murder on Monday in California. (Photo courtesy of the VIPD)
Tyler Delroy Smith on Monday in California is escorted by a police officer following his arrest for first-degree murder.. (Photo courtesy of the VIPD)

An arrest has been made in the beating death of Nancy Nieves Naar last June in Christiansted, St. Croix, the V.I. Police Department announced Tuesday.

Tyler Delroy Smith, 32, was arrested on Monday in California, V.I. Police spokesman Glen Dratte said in a news release.

V.I. Superior Court Judge Darryl Donohue Sr. granted a warrant for Smith’s arrest on Feb. 18 following a DNA evidence report, said Dratte. That information reached Iowa through press releases and the National Crime Information Center, where Smith was working under a variation of his name, according to the VIPD.

Smith’s employer notified the authorities that he had immediately left his job and fled Iowa, Dratte said. He was traced to California, where the vehicle he was driving was found abandoned at a train station. Smith was apprehended on Monday on charges of first-degree murder and third-degree assault and is now awaiting an extradition hearing, the release stated.

Naar was found lying in the grass on the side of the road, beaten beyond recognition, on June 1 in the vicinity of #35-A-14 St. John, Christiansted. An investigation revealed that the 58-year-old was followed by Smith, who police allege attacked and beat her until she was dead, according to the release.