by AT News Team
Update at the end of the story.
Vindalee Smith, age 38, who attended the New Dimension Seventh-day Adventist Church on Winthrop Street in the Brownsville neighborhood in New York City, was found murdered yesterday morning (October 20) in her apartment, according to the New York Times. She was eight months pregnant and scheduled to get married today. According to policy, the unborn child was also pronounced dead.
As is routine in murder investigations, the police are searching for Smith’s fiancé. Investigators refused to speculate for journalists about what happened.
On Sabbath friends and fellow church members maintained a vigil outside Smith’s town house. “They hugged and prayed,” the Times stated. They sang hymns and talked with reporters. “When she met people on the street, she always told them about the Lord,” Edith Thomas was quoted. The fiancé is evidently not a church member, according to comments of friends. They told reporters that she met the man a year ago and that she has four other children, including two in college.
When the medical examiners removed Smith’s body near sundown, a crowd of 100 sang “Amazing Grace.” Once the official vehicle left the scene, they walked to the church a few blocks away.
New Dimenion Church is part of the Northeastern Conference and has about 375 members. Elder Ferron Franics is the pastor.
Update: This story was included in national television news on Sunday evening without identifying the church as Seventh-day Adventist. It was reported that the police had located the fiance, talked with him and did not consider him a suspect.