‘Somebody Wanted Her Dead': Detective Revives Murder Investigation of NY Woman Killed in 2001

"I think it's a good chance we may have interviewed the killer already," the detective says

Nancy Smith was leading a pretty average life as a 32-year-old hospital administrator -- with no boyfriend or enemies -- when in December 2001, someone stabbed her in her New Windsor home more than a dozen times.

The murder weapon was left at the scene, and for 15 years, detectives worked tirelessly to find the killer. But with no witnesses, no obvious motive and no hit on the DNA evidence at the time, the case went cold. 

Now the investigation is active again. 

New Windsor Police Detective Chris Sager, who knew Smith as a child, is assigned solely to the case, and is working with a retired NYPD cold case expert and the FBI. 

"I'm always thinking about who might have done this, and what we've missed," he said. 

Sager said not only was Smith stabbed, she was hit over the head and even strangled. 

"If you look at all that aggression toward somebody, it's obviously a sign that somebody wanted her dead," he said. 

Smith's mother spoke to her on the phone at 8 p.m. the night before she was killed. Nothing was wrong, she said. Then she found her daughter's body.

"She looked like she was sleeping. She really looked like she was sleeping," said Lenore Smith. "But there was blood all over the place. It was pretty rough."

"Whoever killed her took a piece of my heart with them," she said. 

Sager is hoping more advanced DNA technology can help them finally figure out who was in Smith's home. He's interviewing and re-interviewing hundreds of people, even traveling out of state.

"I think it's a good chance we may have interviewed the killer already, but that doesn't stop us from exploring other avenues," he said. 

Lenore Smith, who's been waiting nearly 15 years for answers, said, "I want to know who did it and why."

"There's no closure when something like this happens. It will make me feel like somebody's paying for what they did." 

For more information about the case, or to submit tips to law enforcement if you know something about what happened to Nancy Smith, click here. 

Contact Us