Auburndale man wanted for murdering girlfriend, Polk County deputies say

Larry Smith (Polk County Sheriff's Office)

A woman's body was found in her Auburndale home Monday and Polk County deputies say she died at the hands of her boyfriend, who is now on the run

Smith was reported missing to Lakeland police at 4 a.m. Monday by her sister, who last saw her the day before at the WingStop restaurant where Smith worked. She was supposed to be at work later that day, but never showed up.

Deputies found 40-year old Tashia Smith with fatal gunshot wounds at about 9 a.m. Monday. Her boyfriend of 20 years, 57-year old Larry Smith, is thought to have killed her. 

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said there was a history of domestic violence against Smith. His criminal history includes 21 felony charges, 18 misdemeanors, and he has been to prison four times for burglary, armed robbery, false imprisonment, aggravated assaults, grand theft, retail thefts, resisting arrest, destroying evidence, and drug possessions.

"Larry Smith is a dangerous man, and we need to lock him up," Judd said.

Anyone with information about Larry Smith’s whereabouts is asked to call Detective Coggins at 863-298-6200, or to remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward of up to $5,000, call Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS (8477).