Sabina Rose O’Donnell was stripped, beaten, strangled and left like garbage in a vacant lot in Northern Liberties Wednesday. Now the people of Philadelphia want her killer found, and they’re willing to pay for it.
The Citizens Crime Commission announced a $25,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the 20-year-old waitress’ murderer. The reward funds are being provided by family, friends and Northern Liberties businesses.
Also raising money for a reward is the owner of P.Y.T., the popular restaurant where O’Donnell worked in Piazza at Schmidts.
The young woman, who was about to turn 21 on June 30, is described as “genuine,” “always smiling,” and having a “sparkle in her eye,” by friends and acquaintances who built a Facebook page in her memory.
She spent Tuesday night with friends at El Camino Real until about 10 p.m. She then went to a friend’s house and at about midnight borrowed her friend’s bike to get home to her home at 4th Street, near Thompson.
O’Donnell never made it.
"When she got to the outside of that location, she was approached by an unknown male who dragged her to the rear of that property, took all of her clothes off of her, savagely beat her about the head and body and, we believe, strangled her and robbed her," Homicide Captain James Clark said.
Capt. Clark said a preliminary examination seems to indicate the woman had been sexually assaulted. Sources tell NBC Philadelphia investigators did uncover DNA evidence and have begun processing it Thursday.
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Those same sources also say the attacker used O'Donnell's bra to strangle her to death.
O’Donnell’s naked body was found at about 10 a.m. Wednesday behind a tree in an empty lot on the 1200 block of N. Orianna Street.
Investigators are looking into the possibility that an intruder entered O'Donnell's apartment building in the hours after the attack, according to sources.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Crime Commission Tipline at 215.546.8477 (TIPS).