Authorities said Saturday that it is unclear whether the homicide was random or targeted and that the motive remains unknown.
Nicole Burgess’s mother, Diane Burgess, said her daughter was a hardworking woman who was passionate about her career as an interior architect and designer.
“She’d just landed a big job with Marriott,” Burgess said. “Her specialty was restaurants, but she worked for several high-end companies here and in Italy. . . Her love was design.”
Nicole Burgess graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, her mother said.
Diane Burgess said her daughter had been raised in the house where she was killed, on a quiet street in the semi-rural community of Davidsonville, just southeast of Bowie, Md.
“I gave her that home,” Burgess said. “She’s lived there all her life.”
Burgess said the dog that was also found dead at the house belonged to Nicole’s boyfriend. Burgess said she wasn’t sure whether her daughter’s boyfriend lived in the home or was planning to move in.
A funeral service this week for Nicole was attended by a “huge” crowd of friends, family members and colleagues, Burgess said. She noted that one of the Italian companies Nicole had worked with even sent a representative from Milan to attend the service.
“She was so well thought of,” Burgess said. “She was loved by everybody.”
She said news of her daughter’s death came as a shock. Her daughter was a homebody, she said, someone who preferred to spend time with her good friends in a low-key setting. Nicole never went to bars, Burgess said.
She said she was frustrated by the lack of information about her daughter’s death.
“The police will tell me nothing. They refuse to tell me anything,” Burgess said. “I’m in the dark. It’s heartbreaking.”
Anne Arundel police said the case is under investigation, and anyone with information about the crime is asked to contact Detective Vince Carbonaro of the Anne Arundel Police Department’s Homicide Unit at 410-222-3453.