TNT’s reality series “Cold Justice” came to Columbus earlier this year to investigate the 10-year-old homicide of Kirby Smith, who was shot to death in his auto shop on March 8, 2004.
Days after the show’s investigators arrived, Columbus police arrested Smith’s widow, Rebecca Smith Haynie, and Donald Keith Phillips in connection with the homicide.
This week, viewers will get a closer look at what role the “Cold Justice” investigators played in the arrests when the Kirby Smith episode airs on Friday at 9 p.m.
Yolanda McClary and Kelly Siegler, the show’s investigators, were invited to join the investigation by Columbus Police Department Sgt. Randy Long, who figures prominently in the episode, according to its description on TNT’s website.
“Sgt. Randy Long is a seasoned investigator who’s been with the Columbus Police Department for 26 years,” the description reads. “He’s become close to Kirby’s children, Dustin and Heather, and has vowed never to give up trying to bring Kirby’s killer to justice.”
In June, the Ledger-Enquirer spoke with McClary and Siegler about their work on the Smith case.
They came to Columbus on May 28. Arrests were made on June 5.
“I think that what we ran into is what we always hope to run into, is a bunch of witnesses who are still luckily alive and local and everybody had a little bit more to add to what they had said before,” Siegler said. “And I think it even surprised the detectives that there’s just a little bit more information with every witness we ran into, which made the case stronger in everybody’s eyes.”