NEW YORK – A pregnant mother of four killed in her New York City apartment the day before her wedding died from slash and stab wounds to her neck, authorities said Sunday.
The death of Vindalee Smith, 38, was ruled a homicide, the city medical examiner's office said in releasing autopsy results. Her unborn child did not survive.
Smith was found on the floor of her home in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn on Saturday. Neighbors said she had moved into the area in recent weeks. Her other children are older and did not live with her.
Police said there was no sign of forced entry, and no weapon was recovered. Investigators were looking for a possible suspect and spoke to Smith's fiance as well as friends and family.
Smith had once feuded with a former neighbor who threatened to kill her, but it was months ago and the trouble had stopped when she moved to the new apartment, the Rev. Ferron Francis told the Daily News.
On Sunday, police tape blocked off the street to keep people away from the brownstone home.
Smith was a devout Seventh-day Adventist and attended New Dimension Church, about half a block from her residence.
The brutal, unexpected death "is tragic, it has broken our hearts," Francis said.
Smith had joined the church about three years ago, said Andrew Connor, a deacon at New Dimension.
"She was dedicated to her family," he said. "She was beautiful and this is very surreal."