Roommate of woman found dead in Valley motel speaks out

Published: Aug. 12, 2022 at 6:58 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - “A police officer knocked on the door,” says Nicola Smith’s best friend Melanie Priester. Melanie Priester says that’s how she found out her best friend of two years had been found dead in a hotel room.

The discovery made Thursday morning of a female found on the floor in a room at the Quality Inn in Valley, Alabama. It was 32-year-old Nicola Smith, and as for her best friend, she says the news of her roommate’s death broke her heart.

“I was getting out of the shower, and the police officer knocked on the door, and he informed me that I needed to make a phone call,” says Priester.

Priester describes her friend as someone with a bubbly personality, and although she couldn’t share many circumstances with us surrounding the death, she doesn’t believe anyone could harm her friend.

According to police, Smith was found unresponsive upon their arrival. They also say several witnesses were interviewed, but no arrest.

“She was very bubbly, always smiling, had a beautiful heart, she was a beautiful soul,” says Priester. The two meeting as neighbors and quickly became roommates. “We just clicked, you know. I liked her vibe. We instantly became friends and became like sisters,” says Priester.

Priester says Smith worked as a servant to people with a big heart.

“She worked with the homeless, to help house them, she went above and beyond what her job was supposed to be to help people out, and she was a good person.” A good person who police are working to find whoever is responsible for her death and why. In the meantime, Priester says she knows her friend will be missed. “She’ll always have a place in my heart, always, and I’m going to miss her,” says Priester.

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