The murder of Katrina Smith by her husband, Todd Raprager, is featured in an episode of Never Say Goodbye on Investigation Discovery.
On October 22, 2012, Katrina left her home on Tetterhall Lane in Machesney Park, Illinois, and never returned. She was reported missing after she failed to show up at a job interview that was scheduled the following day. Nearly three weeks later, the 30-year-old was found dead in the Rock River by a fisherman.
Investigators found that Katrina’s body was covered in bruises, and her cause of death was blunt force trauma. She had been struck with a metal baseball bat.
After an extensive investigation, detectives uncovered that Katrina was having an affair with a married man named Guy Gabriel, who lived in the neighboring town — he was also her co-worker. When police ran a background check on Gabriel, it revealed that he had a violent, criminal past.
There was a domestic issue with his wife, but Winnebago County Sheriff’s Detective Bob Juanez stated that there wasn’t enough evidence to suspect Gabriel of being involved in Katrina’s disappearance and murder — and he was working at the time of the killing.
As they got further into their investigation, they learned more about Katrina’s husband, Todd, and his secrets. His real name was Todd Raprager, and he also had a criminal past. At the age of 17, he was convicted of attempting to set his home on fire with his family inside — something Katrina knew nothing about.
Investigators obtained a warrant to search his home and seize his property, including his computer. They found out that he had been stalking his wife for three years by putting a tracking device on her vehicle. When they searched underneath her car, it was gone.
While they were searching Katrina’s car, they sprayed a chemical. It’s supposed to glow if it comes into contact with blood. Police said her blood was found throughout the entire vehicle. However, despite their suspicions, there was no evidence tying Todd to the car.
Detectives then got a second warrant to search his computer, and that’s when they found out that he’d removed the tracking device from Katrina’s vehicle on the day she went missing. A neighbor’s grainy surveillance footage captured Todd walking home after the murder.
After police retrieved a bloody baseball bat from Todd and Katrina’s garage, Todd was arrested and charged with murder, aggravated battery, aggravated domestic battery, and concealment of a homicide.
Investigators believe Todd murdered Katrina because she wanted a divorce and was already taking the necessary steps to make it happen. Notes about an appointment with an attorney were found in her purse.
Following a 10-day trial, Todd was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to 59 years in prison.
Todd maintained his innocence and following sentencing, he said: “Although I am not guilty of the acts the state portrayed, I harbor no ill will towards anyone.”
Never Say Goodbye — Deadly Secret, airs at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.