Person of Interest in CHOP Doctor Killing: Sources

Police sources say investigators have a Bucks County man in custody in the strangulation of a CHOP Pediatrician set on fire inside her Center City home Monday

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Sources said that Philadelphia Police questioned a "person of interest" in the murder of a doctor in her Center City home. NBC10's Katy Zachry has breaking details in the case. (Published Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013)

    Wednesday night, police sources told NBC10 that investigators had a person of interest in the death of a pediatrician that rocked Center City.

    Sources say that the man being questioned is from Levittown, Pa. They also served a search warrant on the man's Bucks County home, sources said.

    Reward Raised in CHOP Doctor Investigation

    [PHI] Reward Raised in CHOP Doctor Investigation
    There is now a $35,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest of the person that murdered Dr. Melissa Ketunuti. Her dog walker and boyfriend have been interviewed, but none are suspects in the case. NBC10's Lu Ann Cahn reports. (Published Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013)

    Chopper 10 captured police towing a silver pickup truck from the home on Crescent Lane in Levittown back to the city.

    No one was arrested in the case as of late Wednesday.

    Detectives Investigate Murder of CHOP Doctor

    [PHI] Detectives Investigate Murder of CHOP Doctor
    There is a $20,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest of the person that strangled and then burned the body of Dr. Melissa Ketunuti in the basement of her Center City home. NBC10's Lu Ann Cahn reports with the latest. (Published Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013)

    A $35,000 reward is being offered for the arrest and conviction of the people or person responsible for tying up a pediatrician, strangling her and then setting her body on fire.

    Police were called around 12:30 p.m. on Monday to a home on the 1700 block of Naudain Street. When they arrived at the home, they say they found the body of Melissa Ketunuti, 35, a pediatric doctor at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, on fire in the basement.

    Search Continues for CHOP Doc's Killer

    [PHI] Search Continues for CHOP Doc's Killer
    Police are appealing for the public's help after a young doctor is strangled and set on fire. Investigators don't know if 35-year old Melissa Ketunuti knew her attacker or was a random target. (Published Tuesday, Jan 22, 2013)

    Investigators say her hands and feet were bound and that there was some type of rope around her neck. They believe she was strangled and then set on fire. Firefighters who responded to the scene put the fire out.

    Police looked at surveillance video at several locations to see if anyone was following Ketunuti before her death. Police say they gained valuable information from some of those videos.

    Doc's Burning Body Found in Basement

    [PHI] Burning Body Found in Center City Basement
    Police say the body of a woman was found bound and burning in the basement of a center city home Monday afternoon. (Published Tuesday, Jan 22, 2013)

    Tuesday afternoon, a man that police describe as a friend or colleague of Ketunuti accompanied detectives inside her home to see if anything was missing or out of place. That man, believed to be her boyfriend, was seen leaving the home later on, distraught and speechless. Police say he isn't a suspect.

    Investigators say there were no signs of forced entry into Ketunuti's home.

    CHOP Doctor Found Bound & Burned in Basement

    [PHI] CHOP Doctor Found Bound & Burned in Basement
    Neighbors of Melissa Ketunuti say she was a doctor at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. The 35-year-old pediatrician was found dead in her Center City home on Monday. NBC10's Tim Furlong reports with the latest. (Published Tuesday, Jan 22, 2013)

    "We don't know if she walked in on individuals inside her property, we don't know if individuals forced her inside of her property," said Police Capt. James Clark.

    No arrests were made as of Wednesday afternoon as more reward money came in from various organizations.

    Burning Woman's Body Found in Center City

    [PHI] Burning Woman's Body Found in Center City
    Philadelphia police are investigating the mysterious death of a woman whose body was found burning in the basement of a home in Center City. (Published Monday, Jan 21, 2013)

    Neighbors tell NBC10 they are shocked this could happen in their neighborhood.

    "I always said hi to her and talked to her on the street, and she was always a polite, very nice person," said neighbor Pamela Rimato Tirone.

    Burned Body Found in Center City Basement

    [PHI] Burned Body Found in Center City Basement
    Police are investigating a burned body found in the basement of a Center City home. Police say they are classifying this as a suspicious death, but once they learn the manner of death it could be upgraded to a homicide. NBC10's Katy Zachry reports with the latest. (Published Monday, Jan 21, 2013)

    "You hope that it's a stalker or a boyfriend and not, like, a random act of violence," said neighbor Andrew Cattaneo. "That makes it almost more scary."

    Ketunuti, a native of Thailand, lived alone. Investigators don't believe that her dog-walker, who found her burning body, was involved in her death.

    "We have a young lady who dedicated her whole life to being a doctor and helping kids with cancer," said Clark. "It's very unfortunate that she died in this manner."

    The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia released the following statement:

    The entire community of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is deeply saddened to learn of the tragic death of Dr. Melissa Ketunuti, a second year infectious diseases fellow and researcher at CHOP.  Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, colleagues and friends at this difficult time.

    “Melissa was a warm, caring, earnest, bright young woman with her whole future ahead of her,” said Paul Offit, MD, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases.  “But more than that, she was admired, respected and loved by those with whom she worked here at CHOP.  Her death will have a profound impact on those who worked with her and we will all miss her deeply.”

    Dr. Ketunuti had been at CHOP for five years, having first served as a resident in the Department of Pediatrics.

    If you have any information on her death, please call Philadelphia Police at 215-686-3334.

     


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