Body of Simi Valley mom found; ex-husband arrested as main suspect in death
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COLLINS, Calif. —
The body of a woman who was beaten, strangled and drowned was recovered on Tuesday after a search, authorities said.
Jennifer Pizzolo, 43, was a mother of six who worked in the entertainment industry, according to authorities.
Pizzolo’s ex-husband, James Edward Smith, was taken into custody early Tuesday after he was stopped by police on Interstate 5 in San Bernardino County, authorities said. Smith is suspected of killing Pizzolo and disposing of her body with the help of family members, authorities said.
Smith had recently moved out of Pizzolo’s home and authorities obtained a search warrant to find evidence, according to Sgt. Mike Chappell of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.
Smith, 35, was released from police custody after posting $50,000 bail. His next court date is scheduled for May 7.
He was arrested by the California Highway Patrol in Redlands on Tuesday afternoon after driving the wrong way for about two miles.
Chappell said Smith was arrested after officers stopped him because his vehicle was erratic.
“After he got out of the vehicle he was identified by (a witness) as actually driving the wrong way on the highway, speeding,” Chappell said.
He also said authorities found a piece of Pizzolo’s gold wedding band in the car.
Smith is also suspected of strangling, beating, strangling to death and disposing of a woman’s body, Chappell said.
Her body was reportedly discovered early Sunday on a dirt road about a mile from San Diego, California, where Pizzolo lived and worked.
Smith is not believed to be armed and police did