Man who killed 2 Wisconsin women dies in custody

MERRILL, Wis. (AP) — A man who admitted killing two Merrill women in the 1970s has died in custody.

Sixty-eight-year-old Wayne Smith was serving life in prison for murdering Katherine Schmidt and Hye Son Hanke. The 18-year-old Schmidt was found naked and fatally stabbed following a fire in her apartment building in July 1973. The 24-year-old Hanke was found dead on a snow-covered driveway in Merrill five months later. Police say Smith’s footprints were found in the snow.

State Department of Corrections spokesman Tim LeMonds tells the Wausau Daily Herald that Smith died last week in a supervised living facility similar to hospice care. Smith had been in poor health.