Melissa Ketunuti, 35, was a pediatric researcher for the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
Dr. Melissa Ketunuti was found murdered in the basement of her home in Center City, Philadelphia on Monday, January 24, 2013. Her parents asked one of her college roommates, Manisha Pai, to handle any inquiries from the media. Pai issued this statement Friday, on behalf of the family:
The family and friends of Melissa Ketunuti are devastated by this senseless act of violence that has ended the life of someone who was so loved, cherished and admired.
Melissa was a loving daughter and friend, a dedicated physician and a talented researcher. She was known by her residency and fellowship colleagues as a positive and compassionate presence. Her passion for medicine -- international medicine, in particular -- was an inspiration to those who worked with her.
Melissa's friends from childhood, college, residency and elsewhere remember her many kindnesses, even during long hours, as well as her zest for life: traveling, running and spending time with friends and family.
Melissa was a source of joy to everyone in her life. Her passing has left an enormous gap in our lives, and the family requests privacy to mourn during this difficult time.