PENN HILLS (KDKA) — A local family is searching for answers after a mother of two was unexpectedly found dead in her home.

They believe knowing more about something that happened seven days before the woman’s death, may help provide important information.

Friends say 29-year-old Jessica Vecchiola was devoted to her two little boys. She was someone with an infectious smile.

But on Feb. 6, Vecchiola’s mother found her daughter unresponsive inside her home in Penn Hills. She was pronounced dead.

“It’ll really bring our family a lot of peace to find out who did this,” said Vecchiola’s sister, Felicia McKinney.

Police say the Allegheny County Medical Examiner hasn’t ruled on Vecchiola’s cause of death, but her sister believes it’s related to a frightening incident that happened several days before.

“My sister told me that she was attacked and pulled out of her vehicle in a parking lot,” said McKinney. “And she wasn’t sure about who had assaulted her, but we do know that that injury has directly led to her passing.”

Police say it happened in the area of Bill’s Hometown Pharmacy in Plum on Jan. 31, while Vecchiola was driving her burgundy Pontiac G-6.

“Jessica told family members that there was a car following her very closely,” said Allegheny County Police Det. Steve Dish. “Jessica pulled into a parking lot, and the car followed her into the parking lot. An unknown female from the other car physically removed Jessica from her car and assaulted her.”

Vecchiola’s family learned Jessica had gone to the hospital the day after the attack, where she was treated and released. Several days later, she died.

“It was a very violent attack, and the attack lead ultimately to her passing,” said McKinney.

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Police aren’t saying what caused her death, but they want to hear from you if you know something about the attack.

The Crime Stoppers number is 412-255-8477.

Information leading to an arrest and conviction could be worth up to $1,000.

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