A pregnant North Carolina woman was killed by a man believed to be her ex-boyfriend in what police are calling a murder-suicide.
On Tuesday morning, officers responded to a call regarding two dead bodies outside a Waynesville home. Upon arrival, officers found the bodies of 38-year-old Cynthia Lynn Smith and 43-year-old Robert Brian King, according to a press release obtained by PEOPLE. Smith was four months pregnant and was planning to name the baby Riley Quinn Smith.
Surveillance cameras from a neighbor’s home captured the moment “King murdered Smith and then intentionally took his own life,” the press release states.
King and Smith had previously dated, the Asheville Citizen Times reports. He was believed to have been the father of Smith’s child.
“She had broke up with him about a month or so ago and moved back in with my mom, away from him,” Steve Goodson, Smith’s uncle, wrote in a Facebook post, according to the paper. “She was fearful of him, but he was sneaky and never done anything bad enough to have the authorities involved.”
Days before Smith’s murder, her family had learned the gender of her unborn child. Waynesville police Interim Chief Brian Beck believes the murder was premeditated, telling the Citizen Times, “[King] laid in wait for her.”
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Smith taught at Kid Connection Child Development Center and had been at the center for almost three years. In an online obituary, friends and members of the community shared memories.
“Cindy…you were such a precious soul that was taken so quickly! Sophia loved seeing you each day and talked about you often, you were one of her favorite teachers!” one user posted. “Enjoy your sweet beautiful little girl for eternity in heaven! We love you and miss you here on earth but I know that you are resting in the Father’s arms and loving on your precious little one!”
Investigators were unable to find any previous reports of domestic violence, the Citizen Times reports. In his Facebook post, Goodson shared some advice to his friends.
“If someone is acting erratic, things they are saying not adding up, if they are angry, saying crazy things etc. try to get help, try to get them help,” Goodson wrote on Facebook. “The reason I’m posting this is that MAYBE it could help someone else, maybe could save someone’s life.”
If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.