A San Diego family is experiencing unimaginable grief after the killing of their loved one, a mother of three found dead inside her Mountain View apartment Friday morning.
Damon Edwards, 40, is suspected in the killing of his longtime girlfriend, Mickette Smith, 38. Smith was found with trauma to her head and upper torso by her young children who called family members and 911 to report that something terrible had happened to their mother.
Smith's mother, Dorothy Smith, said the crime has shattered their lives. She spoke to NBC 7 Friday night, sobbing as she spoke of her beloved eldest daughter.
Their lives, Dorothy said, will never be the same without Mickette.
"She had the most beautiful smile," she said. "All pearly whites, just the biggest, beautiful smile."
Veronica Smith, Mickette's younger sister, told NBC 7 she learned something was horribly wrong when her 9-year-old niece, Jaydaa, called her Friday morning, panicked.
"[She said], 'My mom is not moving, ' and I said, 'What do you mean?'" Veronica recalled. "'She's not moving,' [Jaydaa] said. 'Mom...I'm scared, I touched her arm, and there was blood.'"
Jaydaa told NBC 7 she and her younger brother, Jay-vion, were downstairs eating breakfast around 8 a.m. Friday.
That's when her mother’s longtime boyfriend, Edwards, who lives with them, ran downstairs. Before he left the apartment, he told them not to go up to their mother’s bedroom.
Jaydaa said she called 911.
Veronica said her older sister was like a second mother to her.
"She always, just always there no matter what," she said.
Dorothy, devastated by her daughter's death, said she would do everything to take care of Mickette's children.
"I'm going to take care of my grandchildren," her mother said. "They're going to remember their mama."
Edwards was arrested just before 7:30 p.m. Friday. He is charged with first-degree murder.
Court records show Edwards has had two domestic violence cases filed against him; the most recent case was filed in 2015.