Officers responded to calls about a deceased woman in the 4000 block of Southwind Drive shortly before 4 a.m.
The victim was later identified as Patricia Allabach Brumfield, 48.
Throughout the day, crime scene investigators collected evidence from the townhouse.
Neighbors said a man and woman, in their forties, had been living in the townhouse for about five years.
"I felt a hole in my stomach. I walk the dogs two or three times a day, so I feel I see my neighbors and I know my neighbors and I feel really bad this has happened. Whatever has happened, I'm not sure,” neighbor Morgan Miller said.
A Raleigh police officer lives next door to the couple.
He said he learned about the death when officers woke him Sunday morning with a knock on his door.
Another neighbor said he called 911 about six weeks ago after the woman who lived in the townhouse was found unresponsive in her vehicle.