The victim's husband, Sgt. Richard D. Smith of Fayetteville, is a member of the 4th Psychological Operations Battalion at Fort Bragg.
Sgt. Smith told police he and his wife went for a walk when someone attacked and killed her.
"He stated that he somehow turned back and his wife was being attacked with knife and he ran back the suspect ran away," Police Spokesperson Teresa Chance said.
Witnesses say they heard a man yelling for help as his wife was being stabbed. She was transported to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center.
Investigators spent Wednesday combing the area looking for clues and a suspect.
Anne Knight lives next door to the couple's home on Ashfield Drive. She says they moved in a couple of months ago and she only saw them once and a while.
"I saw driving in the garage and that's when I went over there, when I knew they were home," Knight said.
The victim's husband says after the stabbing he called 911. Residents who live in the neighborhood describe the area as quiet and peaceful.
Jim Matthews has lived in the neighborhood for 25 years. He says it's not uncommon for people to walk or jog just about any time of the day.
"Dusk, evening, dark, I could be sitting there watching TV and I can look out and I hear somebody. See women walking up and down these roads, no problems at all in this neighborhood," Matthews said.