SOUTH FARMINGDALE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A 27-year-old student has been found strangled in the Long Island home she shares with her parents.
Police in South Farmingdale are scouring the community for clues and looking into past and present relationships of the victim.
The victim’s frantic aunt says the anguished family of 27-year-old Kelly Bretana Owen is inconsolable. The nursing student and mother of a 6-year-old daughter died by criminal asphyxiation, according to the medical examiner.
“We looked at the house, and there’s no obvious signs of break-in. We scoured the area. We’re looking into her past or anybody that knows her,” said Det. Lt. Stephen Fitzpatrick of the Nassau County police.
Kelly lived with her parents and brother. They came to the door in obvious distress before driving off, according to neighbors, to meet again with Nassau detectives.
“It’s terrible, because it’s right in our neighborhood,” said neighbor Karen Ehrlich.
“It’s truly heartbreaking,” said neighborhood Nicole Melillo. “It’s definitely scary that someone could be walking around who hasn’t been caught yet.”
When Kelly failed to show up at her daughter’s after-school program, her parents came home and found her on her bed, unresponsive.
Police were called to the First Avenue home.
“You’re supposed to be safe at home, especially in your own bed. And if you have children, that’s even more devastating. I don’t know what I’d do. I feel so bad for her family, for the child. I hope we can find out who did it and they get justice for it,” said neighbor Barbara Cortez.
Neighbors are working closely with police, sharing home security video, hoping to spot anyone suspicious entering or leaving the Owens’ South Farmingdale home.
“I have a Ring and a camera at my house,” said neighbor Victor Meyman, adding he would share the video with police.
It’s a mystery: Who would want to end the life of this admired and loved young mother?
“And this person’s still at large. Hope police detectives can find him,” said Farmingdale resident Thomas Hynes.
Police are urging anyone with information about the homicide to call in their tips.