Caroline Wimmer, 26, was found dead Monday on the floor of her Staten Island apartment, lying face up and bruised, the cord of a hair dryer wrapped around her neck.
Wimmer's mother, Marty, made the gruesome discovery after not hearing from her daughter for two days.
"I ran out and screamed for my husband," Wimmer said. "He went inside and started to try and revive her, but I knew she was gone, call it a mother's instinct."
Caroline Wimmer may have been involved in a love triangle gone bad, sources close to the investigation said.
Neighbors told police they heard two women arguing on Saturday night -- the last time anyone heard from Wimmer, sources said. Police are questioning her ex-boyfriend.
On Monday, Wimmer's apartment at 196 Greenleaf Avenue in the West Brighton section of Staten Island, was turned into a crime scene as detectives searched for clues. Her apartment door, which had been unlocked when her parents found her, was covered in fingerprint dust and yellow police tape remained on her doormat.
Wimmer lost her job a few months ago and was supposed to start a new job at the Census Bureau on Monday. Her parents recently lost their son in a car accident and now must now lay their youngest child to rest.
"If you're mad at someone, you have an oral argument," said Wimmer's mother. "How could you beat her up that bad and kill her? Over what? Over what?"