GREENSBORO, N.C. — The family of a pregnant woman who was killed and her body found inside a suitcase along the Neuse River is speaking out.
The Wake County Sheriff’s Office identified the woman as Brittany Simone Smith, 28, who was reported missing by family members last week.
Smith’s family is devastated and heartbroken over the discovery of her body and the death of her unborn child.
The family released a statement through Tyaisha Williams-Troy, a family spokesperson. In part, it reads, “Yesterday, we learned that our beautiful daughter, mother, granddaughter, sister, niece, cousin, and friend was snatched away from our lives and the lives of her innocent children. She is no longer with us to laugh, cry, dance, change, and become a woman of her full potential. Her baby did not get the opportunity to grow, love, play, and get to know his brothers.”
The family also wants to shed light on the number of Black women killed every day which now includes Smith.
“The world does not speak on all the thousands of missing black women abducted every day and the mass number of maternal homicides that occur right before your eyes. No one talks or weeps for the thousands of girls that are never found – the thousands of girls like Brittany who are waiting to be found and returned to their loved ones.”
The family said they just want justice for Smith and her baby.
“Someone discarded Brittany Samone Smith and her baby like they did not matter, and we want justice for all of the persons involved with the crime. We demand Justice for Brittany Samone Smith because unfortunately she is not able to stand up for herself!”
The Wake County Sheriff’s Office said they arrested two people so far in connection with her death.
Thomas Clayton Johnson, 37, and Emmalei Grace Trevathan, 24, were arrested by Wake County Sheriff's Office during a traffic stop Wednesday in Raleigh. They both face charges of murder, murder of an unborn child, and concealment of a body.
Deputies also searched a home in Wendell near Raleigh.
“I offered to let them in because I had nothing to hide,” said Dale Williams, a friend of Smith's.
Williams told WNCN Smith and her boyfriend, Cody Page, were living in a tent for months outside his home.
“I didn’t have the means to put her up inside,” said Williams of Smith. “This certainly beats living under a bridge.”
Williams said when Smith went missing, Page was beside himself.
“Cody loved her very much,” said Williams.
Johnson and Trevathan both appeared in front of a Wake County Judge on Thursday. They will remain behind bars without bond.
A family spokesperson said the family has concerns with how Smith’s death and details were given by the Sheriff’s Office and media in the Wake County area.
WFMY News 2 reached out to the Wake County Sheriff’s Office for comment since the family spokesperson released the statement on Smith’s death and the killing of her unborn child.
We have not received a comment at this time but will update this story if we receive a response.