MUNSTER, Ind. — The family of an 18-year-old woman is suing an Indiana church and its pastors in connection with her suspicious death last year.
In May 2015, Domonique “Nikki” Smith was babysitting the 5-year-old granddaughter of Steve and Melodye Munsey. They’re the pastors of Family Christian Center, a mega church in Munster, Indiana.
According to the wrongful death lawsuit filed by Smith’s mother Vicki Walker, Smith was discovered floating face down and unresponsive in the swimming pool of the Munseys home in Schererville.
The 18-year-old was a student at Valporaiso University and had been babysitting for the Munseys and attending their church for several months.
Walker says Melodye Munsey was home at the time. She says Mrs. Munsey told her she had gone to sleep after taking medication and was awakened by the child who told her Smith was in the pool.
Days later, Smith was pronounced dead at Saint Margaret hospital. Her organs were donated and no autopsy was done. The coroner ruled the death an accidental drowning.
Walker says over the summer she was finally allowed to view surveillance video from the home at the Schererville Police Department. She is questioning whether that video was tampered with. She says she saw 15 minutes go by where she believes her daughter was in the water and no one came to help her before paramedics were eventually called to the scene.
Former Lake County Sheriff Roy Dominguez is the attorney representing the Munseys and had no comment on the lawsuit. Smith’s family wants police to reopen an investigation into what happened.