LAFAYETTE, Ala.- One day after John Keith Smith, better known as “Coach” was found dead in his LaFayette home, one of his family friends spoke to News 3.
Greg Bell knew Smith for a couple of years. His girlfriend is Smith’s sister. Bell says that Smith was a jokester and cared about everyone. He told News 3 that Smith would help an elderly woman who lived down the street from him along with helping his own mother each day. Bell said that Smith was the kind of person that would give someone the shirt off of his back. He spoke to one occasion where close to $2,500 disappeared from Smith’s home and all he had was $50 and a woman needed groceries and Smith gave her the money. He also grew his hair out in order to donate it to Locks of Love.
In the couple of years the two knew each other, they shared many memories. Any further memories were stopped Thursday afternoon when Smith was found dead in his home. “It’s an experience you really can’t describe,” Bell said. “It brings you down, but you’ve got to remember all the good times and keep yourself uplifted and don’t let it bring you down.”
Bell says when Smith returned home on Thursday, he was on the phone with his brother. He became concerned that someone was inside the home and then he went inside. “That’s when Scotty was still talking to him on the telephone, then all of a sudden the phone went dead cause he heard ask him, what are you doing in my home?”
Bell says after this, Smith’s brother Scotty tried getting in contact with LaFayette Police for 20 minutes and got no answer. He says that Smith went to the station and he was there for 45 minutes before they went to the home.
Family suspect that Smith’s nephew, Casey Scott Smith was in the home. He and his girlfriend Amber Hancock were arrested Thursday by Auburn Police for giving false information to police. They are currently being questioned by the SBI regarding this case and the case is still under investigation.
Bell says the family needs to stay uplifted and think about the good times and not the bad because John would not like to see them acting down. Before News 3’s interview with Bell finished, he spotted a bird in the sky and said that it was a good sign. He thinks of birds as spirit animals and he spotted a few flying above after the interview.