Police ask those with information about Smith’s death to call the North Canton Detective Bureau at 330-499-5911 or the anonymous tip line at 330-966-3633.
The scene was a mother's nightmare.
Lake Township resident Judy Smith found her son, Lake High School alum 34-year-old Brett Smith, beheaded in his North Canton home Saturday.
Brett's body was in the bathroom of 81 Balsam St. NW, in Evergreen Mobile Home Court.
Smith came looking for her son when he didn't come for his regular visit with his 4-year-old niece on Saturday. Shortly before, she called the North Canton police, asking them to check on him.
She and a neighbor broke in with a pry bar after Brett had not answered his phone or knocks on the door. She found her son's body in the bathroom.
"I think my son has been killed," Smith said in her 9-1-1 call. "It looks like he's in the bathroom, but his head's missing. There's a body or there's something here. I mean, it looks like his legs."
The coroner positively identified the body as Brett Smith due to his tattoos. The death was ruled a homicide, and the autopsy took place Oct. 7.
Police arrived at 7:30 p.m., roughly half an hour after the 9-1-1 call.
Light blue paint was thrown around the mobile home in an attempt to cover up the crime. There may have been an attempt to burn the home as there was evidence of a kitchen fire that was out by the time the police arrived. Neighbor Christopher Conley found the oven door open and "burnt stuff" inside shortly before discovering Smith's body.
Smith's head was found in another room.
Evidence from the trailer is being processed at the Canton-Stark County Crime Lab.
William D. Perry, 41 of 94 Cedar St. NW has been named a suspect in Smith's death, according to City Prosecutor Frank Forchione. However, as of Wednesday Perry's attorneys Tony Koukoutas and Rick Pitini have obtained a court order so Perry cannot be questioned about Smith's death without an attorney present.
His attorneys are defending him on a Sept. 30 vandalism charge only.
Smith complained to North Canton police Aug. 19 after being hit in the face by a man. This may have been brought on by a noise complaint in the mobile-home park five days before.
On Sept. 30, someone smashed the glass dome protecting Smith's electric meter. North Canton Police arrested Perry in connection with the vandalism, and he was booked to Stark County Jail under a $150,000 bond. However, they have searched a neighboring mobile home shortly after finding Smith's body.
Perry has a criminal history, convicted of aggravated assault and a weapons charge in Florida in 1997. He served four years in prison.
Perry lived one street west of Smith, approximately 0.2 miles away.
Smith was a 1993 Lake High School graduate, loved by his neighbors and family for his helpful, hard-working and kind nature. "Bubba" cherished his time with his 4-year-old niece. His mother said seeing her was the highlight of his week.
Classmate Denise Hudak heard the news of Smith's death via an e-mail from their high school class president.
"[I feel] just an incredible amount of sympathy for his mother," Hudak said. "I can't even imagine what she's going through right now. She's been in my prayers."
Hudak remembers Smith well, but has not kept in touch with him since high school. The two were in several organizations together.
"He was very quiet, very nice," she said. "I don't remember him ever being anything but kind."
A memorial service for Brett was held at Hopkins Lawver Funeral Home Friday.