Man wanted for questioning

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Crime: Charges could be filed against Jake Smith

By John Severance

Santa Fe police are scheduled to speak with prosecutors this week about filing charges against Jake Smith, a former Santa Fe realtor and Los Alamos restaurateur.


On Nov. 3, the decomposed bodies of two dogs were taken from Smith’s Santa Fe apartment. Police told the Journal North and Santa Fe New Mexican that the two dogs apparently died of starvation and police said there was no food or water that could be reached by the animals.

Smith had worked for Barker Realty in Santa Fe before reportedly being fired and worked as a manager at the Hill Diner and the Dixie Girl in Los Alamos, with his mother Denise Lane.

But right now, Smith is nowhere to be found.

Santa Fe Police Sgt. Andrea Dobyns told the Journal North that Smith rented an apartment on Pino Road, which is near the Capitol.

Dobyns said Smith had paid his rent through October, but he had not been seen for about eight weeks. The dogs were eventually found when the landlord called police because he had not seen Smith for close to two months.

Police have not talked to Smith either.

Santa Fe police officer David Rael told the Santa Fe New Mexican that the apartment had urine and feces in it, as well as empty wine bottles.

Kent Wahlquist, the Santa Fe assistant district attorney, said he has not heard anything about the case. But he said he was heading to Los Alamos Wednesday morning and he may hear about it then.

Lane wrote in an email that she had her last conversation with her son just over a week ago.

“He called crying and telling me over and over, “Mom, I am so, so sorry,” Lane said in an email. “I said  ‘Jake, I love you. I will always love you. Please tell me you won’t hurt yourself.’ “He said, ‘Mom, I won’t’ and hung up the phone.”

Dobyns told the Journal North that charges likely will be filed in Santa Fe County Magistrate Court. That court would likely issue a criminal summons and if he does not appear, an arrest warrant would be issued for Smith.

Los Alamos Police Department Acting Deputy Chief Randy Foster said this morning that Santa Fe police have not contacted them for help in trying to locate Smith. Foster also said he is concerned by Smith’s disappearance.

Meanwhile, reaction has been harsh on Smith’s Facebook page.

One woman wrote, “Jake Smith, I hope the commission pulls your license and David and Lisa Barker (who are huge animal lovers) dismiss you from Barker Realty. You bet I will tell everyone I know what you did. I hope your cellmate is a big guy who really misses his dogs. I thought Realtors were suppose to be upstanding citizens???? You are a disgrace.”

Another wrote, “My recommendation is that you sit in prison for a very long time without any food or water and see what it felt like for your poor dogs while they sat in your apartment starving to death probably wondering what they did wrong to deserve this from you. You are an animal abuser. Disgusting. Pathetic. A poor excuse for a human being. Karma will come for you one day.”

Lane, meanwhile, said she is heartbroken.

“Not just a little fracture but a heart broken into a million pieces,” Lane said in an email. “I can barely put one foot in front of the other but I am. I think that’s the hardest part. When you suffer a broken heart you don’t get to wear a sling or crutches. You get up every day and no one knows the pain but you I will wear a smile, work my three jobs and crawl home and try to get through another sleepless night of worry and regret.”

Lane said she is kicking herself about missing the signs of depression in her son.

“In September, I confronted him about his behavior,” Lane said. “He broke down and told me he hated his life in Santa Fe and wanted to leave. Being the stoic person I am, I told him I would support him in leaving but not for a year. … I gave him the standard Mom speech about change only occurs in your self not by a change of scenery.

“It was a cry for help and I did not see it. That’s the part I can’t forgive myself for. That’s the part that tears a piece of my heart out every day right now. He was in a deep, deep depression and was spiraling rapidly into a terrifying dark place.

“You just don’t shake it off. He needed help and he needed it fast. And instead I judged him and focused on holding him accountable. Normal things a parent would do for an adult child but not what a person who is in deep hopeless depression needs. I would do anything to roll back time.”