Mother of 2 Strangled at Local Park, $20K Reward Offered for Arrest - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Mother of 2 Strangled at Local Park, $20K Reward Offered for Arrest



    Philadelphia Police are warning women who walk or jog in the area of Pennypack Park in the Northeast, to do so in pairs or groups, until they catch the person who killed a woman there. Wednesday night, they retraced the steps the woman took in the moments before her death. NBC10's Denise Nakano reports. (Published Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014)

    Philadelphia Police are offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the death of a Philadelphia mother whose body was found in Pennypack Park.

    The death of 46-year-old Connie Murray was ruled a homicide by strangulation. The medical examiner completed the autopsy on Murray Wednesday afternoon.

    "He did not see much sign of a struggle," said Philadelphia Police Captain James Clark. "There was some minor bruising on her."

    Clark also said there were no signs of a sexual assault.

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    Murray's body was discovered Tuesday shortly after 6 a.m. by a woman who was walking her dog at Pennypack Park near the Crispin Rec Center. The woman, who did not have a cellphone on her, flagged down an off-duty SEPTA bus driver. The driver then called 911.

    Murray, a mother of two, left her home on the 2800 block of Tolbut Street in the city's Holme Circle neighborhood to go for a walk around 9 p.m. Monday, but never returned home, according to investigators.

    Her family searched for her and then contacted police when they were unable to locate her.

    According to police, surveillance video shows Murray traveling down Willets Road to Convent Avenue and on to Holme Avenue Monday night. Police say Murray was carrying headphones and a cellphone with her shortly before her death. Those items have not been recovered.

    Colleen Gass, a family friend, told NBC10 she recently spoke with Murray's sister, who wanted to relay a safety message.

    "Her sister wanted me to tell everyone not to wear earbuds while running," Gass said. "The whole reason she thinks her sister was attacked was because she didn't hear him coming. She had her earbuds in."

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    Captain Clark shared his own warning to those who frequent the park.

    "Females out there walking or jogging should always be in the company of someone else," Clark said.

    Police have no motive in the murder and say at this point it's unclear whether it was a random or targeted attack.

    A $20,000 reward is being offered to anyone with information on a suspect in the murder. If you have any information on Murray's death, please call Philadelphia Police at 215-686-8477.