COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Family and friends in Columbus are still in shock after finding out their loved one, Almanita Smith, was found dead in the front yard of a South Carolina home.
"She was very energetic. She loved education. It is still hard to believe someone like her has left us already," said Samantha Weaver.
Weaver says she and Smith were like sisters. They met freshman year at Spencer High School years ago.
"From the first day that we met, we were inseparable. We couldn't split up from each other," said Weaver.
Now, Weaver, Smith's family, and other friends are grieving after she was found dead outside a Columbia, South Carolina home last Thursday. The Richland County coroner said she died from an "act of homicidal violence."
"I was very hurt. I'm still hurt. I just can't imagine someone taking a life. Someone's life like that," said Sergeant Octavia Ransom.
Ransom said she served alongside Smith in the Army. They were deployed in Iraq together several years ago.
Ransom said Smith had just gotten her master's degree and was planning on returning to the Army as a 2nd Lieutenant.
"She was very mature. Very mature. She had her head on straight. She had all of her goals lined up in order, and she was doing a lot at the age of 26," said Ransom.
Authorities said 27-year-old Marcus Bailey has been charged with Smith's death. Friends said Bailey is the victim's ex-boyfriend.
Smith's father, Harold Davis, told us Monday on the phone that he will miss his daughter.
"I'm scarred. I'm happy with the life that I had with my child," said Davis.
A memorial service for Smith will be held Thursday Aug. 30 at Nazareth Baptist Church on 526 Radcliff Avenue starting at 6 p.m.
Her funeral service will be held Saturday Sept. 1 at Lewis Memorial Missionary Baptist Church at 1022 Adair Avenue at 11 a.m.