NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – On what was supposed to be 38-year-old Vindalee Smith’s wedding day, family and friends are instead preparing for her funeral.
Smith, who was pregnant, was found stabbed to death in her East Flatbush home Saturday morning.
A baby shower was planned for Saturday afternoon, just hours after Smith’s body was found.
Neighbors became worried when Smith did not show up to church Saturday. When her landlord checked on her in her basement apartment, he found her stabbed in the neck.
WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reports
As police continued to search for the killer, family and friends said they are stunned by the killing.
“Satan is the instigator. He’s only the devil. Satan and his angels that would commit this thing,” one neighbor told CBS 2’s Amy Dardashtian.
Smith’s four older children, in their teens and 20s, were inconsolable over the loss of their mother, Dardashtian reported.
“We are praying for them. And there is power in prayer,” a neighbor said.
Smith’s family said she was due in two weeks. The unborn baby did not survive.
“There was significant trauma to the body. The medical examiner was still making a determination as to the cause of death,” Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne told WCBS 880.
An autopsy was planned for Sunday.
“She was a very joyful person with a big heart,” one of Smith’s friends told WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman.
Smith’s pastor said she received death threats from a former neighbor, the latest of which was two weeks ago, Silverman reported.
Police said there was no sign of forced entry and no weapon was recovered at Smith’s apartment.
Stunned neighbors gathered outside New Dimensions Seventh-day Adventist Church, where the wedding was to be held, to mourn Smith’s loss.
“I’m very sad for what happened in the community,” a neighbor told Dardashtian.
Smith’s fiancé was questioned and released, and is not considered a suspect.
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