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Pregnant NYC woman brutally killed day before wedding

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By The Associated Press
Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012, 9:42 p.m.

NEW YORK — A pregnant mother of four killed in her New York City apartment the day before her wedding died from slash and gushing neck wounds, 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.

“It was supposed to be a dream wedding for her,” Racquel Berry, 29, told the New York Daily News. “She was excited.”

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.

Cops questioned Smith's fiancé, Anthony Jackman, but said he was not a suspect.

The couple was to be married in New Dimension Seventh-Day Church on Sunday morning. Smith, a mother of four, was due to give birth to a boy in only two weeks.

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.”

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 fiancé 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.

The brutal, unexpected death “is tragic, it has broken our hearts,” Francis said.

On Sunday, police tape blocked off the street to keep people away from the brownstone home.

“I hope when they find (the killer), he gets what he deserves,” said neighbor Beverly Fraser. “The look on her face — she was happy.”

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