FREMONT COUNTY – An Arizona man currently being held without bond in Fremont County told detectives he committed murder and disposed of the body as a result of fear of his victim.
Jeffery Smith, 37, of Goodyear, Ariz., confessed to killing Remzi Nesfield, 27, in January 2007, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by News 5. Smith was interviewed in Goodyear on January 24 by Fremont County Sheriff’s Detective Peter Rasmussen. According to a statement to Rasmussen, Smith said he shot Nesfield in the back of his head inside the closed garage of Nesfield’s girlfriend’s Denver home, loaded the body into the back of his truck, drove it to Smith’s Colorado Springs home, covered the body with snow to conceal it, then drove it deep into the backcountry south of Texas Creek and dumped it along the side of a dirt road.
The affidavit reveals that Nesfield was deeply involved in dealing the drug ecstasy and had utilized Smith as an associate dealer. As Nesfield’s behavior became more volatile and erratic, Smith decided he no longer wanted to be associated with Nesfield, Smith told Rasmussen. When Smith told Nesfield this inside Nesfield’s girlfriend’s garage, Smith says Nesfield began to “freak out” and started searching for property of his inside Smith’s truck. Smith told Rasmussen that, amid his rage, Nesfield told Smith that he knew where Smith’s parents lived and would track them down and kill them.
Smith told Rasmussen that, as Nesfield was going through his truck, he closed the garage door, walked toward him, pulled a handgun, and shot Nesfield in the back of the head while his back was turned to him. He then placed Nesfield’s body in the flatbed area of his truck, drove to his residence near the World Arena, and covered Remzi’s body with snow to conceal it.
Smith told Rasmussen he then drove “to the mountains” without a specific destination in mind, and in fact did not even know where he was, dumped the body off the side of a road, and then “drove until he knew where he was and could find his way home.”
For nearly a decade, no sign of Nesfield ever emerged until a hiker stumbled upon human remains in 2016. The unidentified remains remained a mystery and investigators commissioned a facial reconstruction model to try to glean info on whose they might be. Meanwhile, DNA samples were analyzed and finally a match to Nesfield was determined through a sample from the Arizona Department of Corrections.
Corroborating accounts from associates of Smith and Nesfield led investigators to interview Smith initially in August 2018, at which time he denied involvement with Nesfield’s disappearance and even denied knowledge of his death, but was “relieved” to hear about it “because he didn’t have to worry about Remzi coming after him anymore,” according to the arrest affidavit. However, Smith told roommates at the time that he had indeed killed Nesfield and dumped his body, according to a sworn statement by one of the roommates.
Smith is being held without bond at the Fremont County Detention Center following extradition from Arizona in February. His next court appearance is set for May 7.