Long-time friends remember woman found dead in Pike County

PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - A death investigation is underway after a Pike County woman was found dead in her Johns Creek driveway Saturday morning.

Kentucky State Police (KSP) troopers say they found the body of 44-year-old Michelle Smith.

"Apparently there was possibly an assault that started maybe in the house, led outside and at some point, a vehicle may have been used in this situation," recalled KSP trooper William Petry.

Trooper Petry says a possible robbery may have also played a role in her death.

"The investigation led to possibly maybe some items being taken from the house inside and looked like there may have possibly been a struggle," explained Petry.

He says he does not believe this to be a random act against Smith.

"Whoever did this knows the person that was deceased," Petry pointed out.

Denise Gooslin grew up with Smith. She says Smith was loved by many in the community.

"Her love for living, her love as a parent. She was the epitome of being a good mother," said Gooslin.

Smith was a mother, daughter, childhood friend and much more.

Now, the only thing her loved ones have left are memories.

"I have known Scotti Michelle literally since we were babies," said Gooslin.

"We got into trouble as children running around in the creek beds. Yeah, typical childhood sassy girl stuff," recalled Gooslin.

Her shock turned into a numbing feeling which soon turned into anger as more details surfaced.

"How could someone do this to a child who is all of 7-years-old who no longer has her mother?" questioned Gooslin.

Longtime friend Kristi Hunt says the love Smith had for everyone in her life is unmatched.

"I miss my friend. I thought about the fun times like shopping trips and car rides. (I think about) beautiful clothes, us cooking breakfast at her moms. Her mom was so nice to us. Her family being so nice and caring and how much she loved her family especially her daughter," recalled Hunt.

Trooper Petry says this type of case is mentally hard to investigate.

"It will always hit home, especially the troopers and detective have children of their own. They know that those are the ones that pay the biggest price," said Petry.

He says right now they are going through each piece of evidence before ruling the exact cause of her death.

Another childhood friend, Heather Ellis says it came as a surprise to find out about the robbery.

"She was so trusting and so giving and so kind to people," recalled Ellis.

Now, they are all waiting for answers into what happened and pray for justice.

"We just want justice to be done. We want whoever did this just to come forward and if anybody knows anything, just call the police," said Ellis.

Funeral arrangements are not available at this time.

If you have any information about the death investigation, you are asked to call Kentucky State Police Post 09 at 606-433-7711

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