Cynthia Lynn Smith was four months pregnant with her first child when she and her ex-boyfriend Robert Brian King were found dead on January 21 in what police are calling a murder-suicide.
Police near Waynesville, North Carolina, where Smith lived, began investigating the case and found that the ex-couple had recently learned the sex of their baby.
Interim Police Chief Brian Beck told the Asheville Citizen-Times that “the family had already found (out) the gender of the child last week, [and] had already named the child.” As the Citizen-Times reports, the family had chosen the name Riley Quinn Smith for their baby girl.
According to The Mountaineer and the Citizen-Times, Smith’s uncle took to social media to reveal his niece was afraid of her ex following their breakup. Steve Goodson wrote that Smith “had [broken] up with him about a month or so ago and moved back in with my mom, away from him. She was fearful of him, but he was sneaky and never done anything bad enough to have the authorities involved.”
In a statement published to the Waynesville Police Department’s official Facebook page, a “key piece of evidence collected in this case was surveillance footage from a neighboring home. The footage from those cameras captured the incident as it occurred.”
The statement concluded that investigators were able to use that footage and other evidence collected to determine that King fatally stabbed Smith with a knife and then took his own life with the same weapon moments later. Interim Chief Beck told the Citizen-Times that the murder-suicided was “premeditated,” adding that King “laid in wait” for Smith before killing her.
In the wake of Smith’s passing, Goodson also shared a warning on Facebook in the hopes of helping others who may be in troubled situations with their exes.
“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. “The reason I’m posting this is that MAYBE it could help someone else, maybe could save someone’s life.”
Smith was just 38 years old.When I’m not hanging out with my three-year-old and husband in Brooklyn, I’m busy writing stories for Mamas Uncut and managing PR + Marketing for Magnolia Bakery, based in New York City. On weekends, you can usually find me at a local park or playground pushing my daughter on the swings, “researching” the best almond croissants in Park Slope or launching into impromptu family dance parties at home, the sidewalk or, every once in awhile, a restaurant bathroom. I’m still trying to master the whole parenting thing, but I have learned that copious amounts of coffee, humor and humility are involved on a daily basis.