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Kansas Man Hired Hitman to Kill Wife, Police Say

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A man from Basehor, Kansas, faces federal charges after investigators say he tried to hire a hitman to murder his wife. The information comes from the U.S. Attorney's office for the Western District of Missouri.

Kansas City police say a confidential informant contacted them on May 9, stating that Lee D. Smith, 37, was willing to pay someone to kill his wife. The informant says Smith drove him to the wife's place of employment in Overland Park, Kansas, and gave him details about his wife's habits and ways to identify her.

The informant, acting undercover, called Smith Friday, May 11, according to police, to tell him he had Smith's wife and daughter.  Smith allegedly told the informant to let his daughter go and to continue with the plan to kill his wife.

The informant says they agreed upon a price of $1,800. Later in the day the informant says he called Smith and told him he dropped off the daughter and killed the wife.

Police then contacted Smith, the affidavit says, and police told him to come to the police station regarding his daughter being found. When he arrived, he was questioned and arrested.

A neighbor says Smith appeared to be quite and kept to himself.

"I'm just kind of shocked," a neighbor said. "I'm glad that she is okay."

Smith remains in federal custody. He will return to court on Thursday.

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