Michigan health officials issue alert, encourage possible victims to get tested immediately
Hundreds of Michigan residents -- and others -- may have been infected with HIV by a man who told police he’d been on a three-year mission to transmit the disease to as many people as he could, MSNBC reports.
Police arrested David Dean Smith, 51, last week after he turned himself in -- and admitted he had unprotected sex with "thousands" of partners with the intention of killing them by infecting them with the virus.
Only two possible victims have yet been identified.
Smith's mission to sicken his lovers likely stretched to other states including anyone he may have seduced via Yahoo! Personals, as he did with the one of two victims who came forward.
"He's charming," the alleged victim, who didn't want to be identified, told 24 Hour News 8. "He's very charming."
Records from Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services, where Smith had been admitted recently because he was "suicidal," indicated he is "sexually aroused by causing pain to females," according to court documents.
The woman, who was diagnosed with HIV in October 2008, told the TV station that Smith told her there were 3,000 victims including men and women.
"He hits drifters," said the alleged victim. "He hits people who are young. He hits young women, and from what I understand, he hits men too. Those are his targets."
Health officials released an alert to residents of Kent County Michigan that "possibly hundreds have been exposed to HIV," and encouraged possible victims to come forward and be tested.
Kent County Health Department spokesperson Lisa LaPlante said this is the first time they have seen someone deliberately trying to spread HIV to so many people.
"We want to make sure that anyone who may have injected drugs with , who may have had sex with him, does come forward and get tested," LaPlante told the TV station. "We want to make sure that they're not spreading the virus to anyone else."
Before his arrest, Smith reportedly texted the alleged victim: "Turning myself into the law, my life is over. Take care. Always love you."
Smith, currently at Kent County Jail where he is being held in lieu of $100,000 bond, has been charged with two felony counts of failure to disclose HIV status to a sexual partner, a charge carrying a four-year jail sentence and a $5,000 fine.
Smith's attorney, Richard E. Zambon, told MSNBC he is "exploring all options" in his client's defense, and specified "I am concerned about his mental health.