NBC Connecticut anchor Heidi Voight has revealed that her extended absence from the local news station is due to the “painful secret” that her mother was killed in February.
The award-winning journalist spoke of her grief and shared details of her mother’s death in a lengthy statement uploaded to her social media accounts on July 31.
“She should still be here,” Voight began in the emotional post. She then thanked friends who have reached out to express concern as she is currently taking a break from her job at the NBC affiliate.
“I know you’ve had questions, and there’s something I wanted to tell you but couldn’t until now,” she said. “I carry this painful secret with me: my mother’s death was neither natural nor peaceful. My mother was violently murdered in the place where she should have felt safest: her own home in Windham, Vermont.”
She lamented her mother’s untimely death.
Voight continued, “Claudia Voight has been stolen from this world. She has been stolen from her family, from her children and from my precious daughters who now ask me almost every day, ‘Why did grandma go to heaven?’”
As the news anchor said she tries to tell her daughters that their grandmother is with God now, she struggles to fathom how “such evil exists in this world.” According to her biography from NBC Connecticut, Voight shares 5-year-old twin daughters Apolonia “Polly” Rose and Violet Concetta with her husband, David.
“It hurts my broken heart to know that one day they will have to learn the truth about how they were robbed for so many years with their ‘Grandma CC’, the one who held their little hands as they took their first steps, the one to come now visiting like butterflies in the garden, the one that exists in memories and pictures and stories that I now have to keep alive,” she wrote in her statement.
The reporter said her family found it difficult not to speak publicly about the murder. But they had to wait while authorities investigated the criminal case, she explained.
She expressed her gratitude to the Vermont State Police, her NBC Connecticut family, and victims’ advocates for being part of her family’s support system.
“I’m taking this time to be present at the many ongoing processes related to my mother’s case, and to make sure I get the help I need to be mentally and physically fit for the long haul” , she said.
Voight added, “This has broken me and changed me. But I am my mother’s daughter and I will come back stronger. I will fight for her.”
She said she expects more details about the case to emerge as the investigation progresses.
The day Voight released her statement, the Vermont State Police issued a press release regarding the murder of Claudia Voight. Authorities confirmed that the grandmother was 73 years old at the time of her death.
“The death of Claudia M. Voight on February 20 was initially reported as the result of an apparent medical event and did not appear suspicious,” police said in the July 31 statement. “However, an autopsy performed several days later at the Burlington Chief Medical Examiner’s office indicated that the death was suspicious and that Voight suffered injuries that could only be detected at autopsy.”
Authorities said a final autopsy conducted in April determined that “Ms. Voight’s cause of death was neck compression and the manner of death was homicide.
While police said they have no suspect in custody and have identified no threat to the community, they do not believe the death was “arbitrary”.
The Vermont State Police said they will provide future updates on the case.
This article was originally published on TODAY.com