Providence native stabbed to death in Baltimore remembered by her family as smart, driven

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) -- Anna Trisvane last saw her daughter Jacquelyn Smith on Thanksgiving, when she surprised her family with a trip to Rhode Island.

"I was in the bathroom and I heard someone coming in and and I said 'Oh Jacqui, what are you doing here? I'm glad to see you!'" Trisvane said in an interview with Eyewitness News.

Smith, a 54-year-old mother of two, died on Saturday when Baltimore Police say she was allegedly stabbed by a man after she gave money to a female panhandler who said she needed money for her baby. Smith's husband Keith was in the car, telling police the man said he wanted to thank Jacquelyn for giving money to the woman, but he instead reached through the window and stabbed her while stealing her purse.

"She's stubborn, too," the 88-year-old Trisvane said, sitting at her kitchen table in Providence. "If they tried to take her pocketbook, she was gonna fight. Because it was hers."

Trisvane said she still has a lot of questions about what happened to her daughter, as Baltimore Police say they are searching for two suspects.

"They hurt my baby," Trisvane said. "That's all I can think about all the time, is they hurt my baby. And there was no need." 

Smith was born Jacquelyn Trisvane in Providence on July 4, 1964, according to her family, and grew up going to Catholic schools and then Classical High School. She was always on the honor roll, according to her sister Yvonne Saab.

"I put her in Holy Name [Elementary], and she said 'Oh my god Ma take me out of this school, I'm getting dumber," Trisvane joked. "She loved music, she loved poetry, she was just a happy little child."

She said her daughter went on to North Carolina A&T State University before becoming an electrical engineer. She lived in both Germany and San Francisco with her first husband before moving to Maryland. She married her second husband Keith Smith in 2014, and the couple lived in Aberdeen, MD.

Smith had two adults sons, ages 19 and 25.

"Oh my god she was a good mother," Trisvane said. "Her son called me and said she was the best woman there ever was, she was the best mother there ever was."

The family is planning a private funeral at St. Patrick's Church next week, and plan to bury Smith in Providence.

"This is her home," Trisvane said.

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