In a statement, Attorney General Dana Nessel said her office was charging Rashad Maleek Trice with first-degree premeditated murder, felony murder, assault with intent to murder, two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, two counts of kidnapping, and several other counts in connection with the death of Wynter Cole-Smith. The premeditated murder, felony murder, assault with intent to murder, and criminal sexual conduct all come with a life sentence if convicted.
On the evening of July 2, Trice allegedly assaulted and stabbed Wynter’s mother in her Lansing apartment. The mother called for help and Trice fled with Wynter. A manhunt ensued for Trice as investigators searched via ground and sky for the girl. Police located Trice about 90 miles away in St. Clair Shores the next day, but Wynter was nowhere to be found.
Due to the fact that the alleged crimes occurred in multiple counties, the Michigan Attorney General’s Office took over the case and consolidated it to "minimize the traumatizing effect that multiple trials and obligations to testify would necessitate on witnesses, surviving victims, and all loved ones of Cole-Smith and her mother."