Gastonia Family Demands Answers After Woman Found Dead In Abandoned Charlotte Apartment

CHARLOTTE — The family of JaNyah Smallwood has a lot of questions about what led to her death.  The 20-year-old was found dead last Friday inside an apartment at Dillehay Courts.  The dilapidated complex was abandoned years ago, and is now set for demolition.  But, why was Smallwood there?  And, who was she with?

At a candlelight vigil Friday in Gastonia, family and friends reminisced, prayed and cried over the loss.  They say JaNyah was a sweet young lady who was always smiling.

CMPD is calling this case a death investigation.  The incident report shows drugs may have been involved, and that she suffered other major injuries.

“When we spoke to the detective he was trying to tell us it was an open shut case.  And I told him how, if you find someone with no clothes on in an abandoned building?” says Robert Willis, JaNyah’s grandfather.   He also believes she was sexually assaulted.

JaNyah leaves behind a 2-year-old daughter.  If you have any information about this case, call Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police.