SOUTH FARMINGDALE, N.Y. — Police in Long Island, New York, are searching for the person who strangled a young mother inside of her family's home.
The victim's aunt says the anguished family of 27-year-old Kelly Bretana Owen is inconsolable. The nursing student, a mother of a 6-year-old daughter, died by criminal asphyxiation, according to the medical examiner.
"We looked at the house," said Nassau Homicide Chief Det. Lt. Stephen Fitzpatrick. "There's no obvious signs of a break-in. We've scoured the area. We're looking into her past, anyone who knows her."
Kelly lives with her parents and brother. They came to the door in obvious distress and soon drove off, neighbors said, to meet again with Nassau detectives.
"It's terrible because it's right in our neighborhood," said Karen Ehrlich, a neighbor of the victim.
Nicole Melillo, another neighbor, said, "It's truly heartbreaking. Definitely scary someone walking around who hasn't been caught yet."
When Kelly failed to show up at her daughter's afterschool program, her parents came home and found her on her bed, unresponsive.
Police were called to the First Avenue home.
"Devastating," said neighbor Barbara Cortez. "You are supposed to be safe at home, especially in your own bed."
Neighbors are working closely with police sharing home video security video hoping to spot anyone suspicious entering or leaving Owen's south Farmingdale home.
It is a mystery who would want to end the life of this admired and loved young mother.
Police are urging anyone with information about the homicide to call in their tips.