EXCLUSIVE: Kristen Edwards mother reacts to murder arrest

Published: Aug. 20, 2016 at 5:45 PM CDT
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"I thought about her last moments, and if she suffered. It's something I don't know if I'm prepared for."

A month of fear and despair.

"It's been a nightmare that I can't wake up from."

Realizing her daughter has been taken from her.

"It just hit me one day. I wanted to call and talk to her and I couldn't," said Angie Ponce.

A tide of emotions continues to pull on Angie Ponce as she comes to grips with the murder of her 22-year-old child Kristen Edwards.

"Very caring and sweet. It's very sad that someone could've done this to her," Ponce said when describing her first born daughter. She went on to say Kristen was bubbly and full of life. Kind and patient with her two children and all of her friends.

Remembering her ability to make people laugh, Angie's now able to see the man who took her smile away from the world.

"The fact that he was the last one that saw her alive. We didn't get to hug her goodbye, or tell her we loved her. Just a lot of anger."

Clark Smith was arrested after being taken from his apartment by Kentucky State Police in Cave City, nearly one month after Kristen's body was found in the Green River.

Until then it had been 27 days since she was discovered and no arrest, made Angie question everything about her small town of around 2,000.

"Even at the funeral, I was wondering if anybody that knew anything thing, or even the person who did that could've been there," said Ponce about her daughter's funeral held shortly after her body was found on July 23.

When the arrest was made it shocked Angie beyond her imagination.

The man accused of killing her daughter lived right next door to Kristen's grandmother.

"Knowing there's a monster out there that has the capability of doing that to someone so sweet."

Seeing his face is tough, but wondering why may be worse.

"He has to live with the fact that he took a precious, precious woman from her children, her mother and father, her brothers and sisters, grandparents, friends, everybody that loved her you know. He has to think about that everyday. There's no escaping that. Just like there's no escaping our loss."

Two toddlers without their mother, friends without their companion, but most of all a mom trying to fill a void in her heart the rest of her life.

"I would say how much I love her and miss her. That Melanie and Mason are going to be fine. We're going to tell them all about her and how much she loved them. That I'm very proud of who she became and I will not let her life be in vain."

Clark Smith is also charged with abuse of a corpse on top of murder and tampering with physical evidence.

Kristen's body was found dismembered in a tote bag in the Green River according to Kentucky State Police.

Details about the murder and how the body ended up at the river have not been released.

Smith will face a judge for the first time on Monday. Kristen's mother still hasn't decided whether or not she'll attend that hearing.

If you'd like to express condolences to the family you can do so at AF Crow Funeral Home.