Officials are asking for the public's help with a homicide investigation for Jasmyn Beatty, 28, who was found dead in her Framingham, Massachusetts, apartment Tuesday.
Police found Beatty with a significant slash to the back of her neck at the Halstead Apartments around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said at a news conference with Framingham Mayor Yvonne Spicer Thursday.
A man "known to Jasmine" called 911 to report her death on that day, according to Ryan. The killing is being investigated as a homicide based on the nature of her injury
"Right now, unfortunately, we are not able to say, in these early stages, whether this was a random attack or was committed by someone known to Jasmine," Ryan said. "That is particularly troubling for the rest of the Halstead apartment complex, where Jasmine lived. We know that what we are saying today, while it provides information does, not restore the sense of security that we all so desperately seek in our home."
The Framingham Police Department and Massachusetts State Police "immediately" began an active investigation into what happened, which has included canvassing the area, interviewing people and looking across the area of the apartment complex for surveillance footage, Ryan said.
Investigators were back at the scene on Wednesday scouring the property, focusing on a dumpster. That dumpster was eventually towed away. There are no cameras on the property itself, so authorities are looking for video in surrounding areas as well as searching for and testing forensic evidence.
Ryan urged the public to help, to think back to the early morning hours of Tuesday. Anyone with information is asked to call the Framingham Police Department at 508-532-5911 or 508-872-1212.
"The community is on edge. A sense of safety has been shaken by Jasmine's death and by uncertainty as to what brought her to that moment," Ryan said. "Think about whether you may have seen or heard something that either seemed unusual when now, in light of knowing what happened, may have attached additional importance to."
Beatty was a senior financial analyst at the nearby Staples corporate headquarters, and had lived in Framingham with her dog, Bentley, for the past few years after moving from Rhode Island, where she attended college, according to Ryan.
"She was a beloved daughter. Graduate of the University of Rhode Island. Like so many of us, working remotely up here in Framingham during the pandemic," Ryan said.
Her family declined to comment about the investigation Thursday.
Residents say the front door is often broken but say it’s supposed to be locked.
“You need a key to get in the front door, and you also need a little toggle to open up the other door that lets you into the actual building, so unless it was someone who knew or somebody who lived here, they wouldn’t have had access to the apartment,” neighbor Connor Fallon said.
He said the killing made him feel uneasy.
"When an act of violence is perpetrated in our city, it scares us. It shakes us," Spicer said. "My thoughts in my prayers are with Jasmine's family. As a community, we will not tolerate violence in Framingham. Solving this case is a top priority."
Residents are encouraged to remain vigilant, to take normal safety precautions including locking doors. Police have increased patrols in the area, according to Framingham Deputy Chief Sean Riley.
"Our police department is poised and ready to serve you and continue to protect the city," Spicer said. "They are making extra trips throughout this area, but also please if you see something, please call."
On Wednesday, Beatty's third floor apartment was covered in crime tape and dusted for fingerprints.
“She was a nice person. We were like, 'Why would someone do this -- she seems so nice,'" said Lauren Albrigo, who lived next door to Beatty. “I only saw her with her dog, never coming from work or getting in a car or with someone -- it was always just her and her dog."
Albrigo said it was around 4 a.m. Tuesday when her parents woke up to someone knocking on Beatty’s door with the brass knocker. They then heard talking and then screams.
“They woke up to screams," she said. "My mom was like 'What’s happening?' and my dad was like 'Go back to sleep' and then my mom said 'Something is happening, I don’t know,' and then they just went back to sleep because it stopped. It stopped fast."