Mom had a bad feeling, now NewsChannel 3 uncovers person of interest in murder case is a convicted con artist

Posted at 8:27 PM, Apr 24, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-25 06:04:26-04

Isle of Wight County, Va. -  He's a convicted con artist who court records show has deceived for years, but the mother of Jean Marie Smith says she wasn't fooled.

"I just had a bad feeling, just a very bad feeling," said Mary Jane Smith.

Jean Marie was found shot to death in a wooded area in Isle of Wight last week. Detectives confirmed to only NewsChannel 3, her roommate, Eric Saub is their main person of interest in the murder.

Right now, Saub is in jail accused of creating fake bank accounts in the name of Jean Marie's grandmother, whom he lived with in Hampton.

"That bad feeling made me go and do some research," Mary Jane said.

NewsChannel 3 did some research too where we learned Saub has done this many times before. Since Saub was 20-years old, he's faced several charges of theft, forgery, and identity theft in Oregon.

According to a Bend, Oregon newspaper article, in 2007 Saub was an employee at Best Buy. There he created a false purchase order from a non-existent company, then hid $50,000 dollars worth of TVs and computers in his home. That same year Saub was also convicted of writing fake checks to steal 4 ATVs worth more than $28,000. In that newspaper article, a judge is even quoted as saying to Saub, "You're a pretty good con man".

But police say the judge's words apparently didn't stop Saub from conning people again. An Oregon court clerk told NewsChannel 3 a warrant is currently out for his arrest on several counts of theft, forgery and identity theft.

Saub was supposed to show up in court in February of 2014, but never did. According to Jean Marie's mom, that's when he moved in with Jean Marie and her grandmother.

"It makes me sick. The whole thing makes me sick," Mary Jane said.

Though Isle of Wight detectives have named Saub as a person of interest in the case, he has not been charged with Jean Marie's murder. However, search warrants NewsChannel 3 obtained this week show how police are zeroing in on Saub.

Detectives are still asking anyone who may have seen Jean Marie in the Hampton Roads area on April 15th or 16th to call the Crime Line at 1 (888) LOCK-U-UP.