DALLAS –- Coming forward for an interview was a tough decision for Vanessa Pitofsky’s friends.
"I'm numb. I'm in pain. I miss her. I want her back," said Esther Anderson, Vanessa’s friend.
But her friends want people to know the life she lived.
"Vanessa was more than just a friend. She was my sister. She was an aunt to my daughters and my grandkids," said Lisa Hall, a friend of 15 years. "I honestly don't know how I'm going to live without Vanessa."
Vanessa worked for years as an executive assistant at Wachovia and Wells Fargo, and had just taken a job last fall with Suntrust Bank at The Crescent.
She grew in Austin, has a younger brother, and was supposed to turn 42 next month.
But friends will remember Vanessa as a long-time volunteer for Meals On Wheels, a faithful fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and passionate about cooking.
"She loved to cook,” Anderson said. “Oh my God! She absolutely loved to cook. That girl will whip up some recipes and look like she was a chef."
Wednesday, Dallas police found her murdered in her townhouse in The Cedars neighborhood.
Investigators suspect her husband, Sgt. Nick Pitofsky, a policeman for the city of Crandall, killed her before taking his own life.
The motive remains unclear. The couple got married in December 2010.
"People need to know who she was and what she did, and not just about the tragic death she had," Hall said.
Friends considered Vanessa their support system – the one they'd call for advice to get through personal struggles - which makes her loss much more difficult.