Presumed fiance questioned in death of bride-to-be

Story highlights

  • Vindalee Smith, 38, was found stabbed repeatedly the day before her wedding
  • A note left at the crime scene referenced the D.C. sniper killings a decade ago
  • NYPD spokesman says the note is being analyzed as a possible ruse

The presumed fiance of a pregnant woman who was fatally stabbed the day before her scheduled wedding is being questioned by detectives from Brooklyn, and a note left at the crime scene referenced a notorious killing spree from a decade ago, New York police said.

Police were not releasing the man's name Monday, but the bride-to-be, Vindalee Smith, 38, was found Saturday stabbed repeatedly, with her throat slashed, according to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

A computer-generated note found at the crime scene said, "I will kill one pregnant woman a month starting now until Lee Boyd Malvo is set free!"

Malvo and his accomplice, John Allen Muhammad, came to be known as the D.C. snipers, randomly targeting and killing 10 people in the Washington area in 2002.

NYPD spokesman Paul J. Browne confirmed the existence and content of the note, saying the entire message was typed in white on a black background, framed with a white border and signed "The Apprentice" with a smiley face.

Browne said the note is being analyzed as a possible ruse planted to confuse investigators.

Browne would not name the suspect but said the man had "put himself at Smith's apartment" around the time of the murder.

"We're looking at a man who was in a relationship with a pregnant woman who believed he was going to marry her."

Browne said the man is already married to a woman in New Jersey and "was not in a position to marry someone else." The unidentified man was arrested and is being held for having a forged temporary-paper-license on the car he was driving.

Malvo, now 27, is serving a life sentence.

Muhammad, who plotted the crime spree, was executed in November 2009. At trial, Malvo testified the men had a three-phase plan:

1. Kill six white people a day for six days.

2. Kill a pregnant woman by shooting her in the stomach.

3. Kill a Baltimore police officer and then set off explosives at the funeral.

2007: Sniper says he feels shame, guilt for murders

2006: Malvo says Muhammad 'made me a monster'

2004: Malvo gets life sentence in sniper killing