Family members found Regina Renea Johnson dead on her bed in early April.
On Tuesday, more than six months later, authorities said publicly that the 44-year-old Lexington woman was murdered.
Jones was strangled and suffocated, said a Fayette County coroner's press release on Tuesday. An autopsy was conducted in April at the state medical examiner's office in Frankfort and later ruled a homicide.
"From day one, in my heart, I thought it was a homicide and not a natural cause of death," said Camisha Young, a longtime close friend. "It's been real hard just knowing she was murdered and not having any answer as to how."
Lexington police Lt. James Curless said Tuesday evening that police early on thought Johnson's death was suspicious.
"The more we looked at it, the more concerns we had about it," he said.
Announcing the case in the local media could help shed more light on Johnson's death, Curless said. "There are people we feel who have information that could help us resolve this case," he said.
Last night, Young stood outside the apartments where Johnson died at 420 Rogers Road, off North Broadway and across from the Joyland Bowl and Park.
Johnson had lived there for about three months with three teenage children and a 2-year-old grandchild, Young said. Her daughter's boyfriend also lived with them, she said.
She recalled a phone conversation she had with Johnson, who told her she was going to ask the boyfriend to move out of the house because she thought he was causing problems for her daughter.
Young, however, doesn't know what happened next.
"There were four people in the house, no (signs of) breaking in. Somebody knows something," she said.
Anyone with information is asked to call Lexington police at (859) 258-3700 or call CrimeStoppers (859) 253-2020.