A Northeast Philadelphia man has been charged with murder after he allegedly strangled his wife and left her body at a local park.
Police say Christopher Murray, 48, confessed to killing his wife, 46-year-old Constance "Connie" Murray, Monday night at Pennypack Park following an argument. According to investigators, there were ongoing domestic issues between the husband and wife which culminated in Monday's violent incident.
Investigators say Connie Murray left her Tolbut Street home Monday to go for a walk. While she was walking, Christopher Murray allegedly followed her while driving a silver Taurus. He pulled up beside her on Willets Road and the two began to argue, according to police.
"She sticks her head in the car, says something and she goes back on her walk," said Philadelphia Police Lieutenant Philip Riehl.
Police say Christopher Murray continued to follow her and got out of his vehicle on Holme Avenue around 9:30 p.m. The husband then met his wife at a bench area at the park where another argument ensued.
"She went up there voluntarily to talk to him about whatever was going on and things went bad," Riehl said.
According to law enforcement sources, Connie Murray accused her husband of infidelity, which he denied. Sources say she went to the park's snack stand to meet her daughter where she was met by her husband who wanted to discuss the issue further. According to sources, Christopher Murray told police his wife began to slap him which caused him to snap.
Christopher Murray allegedly strangled his wife and then left her body at the bench area near the Crispin Rec Center. Investigators say he then contacted police around 2 a.m. and reported that his wife was missing. A woman walking her dog later found her body Tuesday around 6 a.m.
After receiving several neighborhood tips and looking at surveillance video allegedly showing Christopher Murray driving his silver Taurus, police identified him as a suspect. He was taken in for questioning Saturday night.
"State Trooper David Lang came in and helped us and administered a lie detector test," Riehl said. "After failing the lie detector test, Murray confessed to strangling his wife in the park next to the two benches where she was found."
Police also say they recovered Connie Murray's headphones and cellphone in a sewer at Solly Avenue. They believe Christopher Murray took the items and disposed of them there.
A preliminary arraignment took place Sunday afternoon, the same day as a planned memorial service for his wife. A preliminary hearing has been set for Aug. 27 and bail has been denied.
According to law enforcement sources, Christopher and Connie had known each other since they were between the ages of eight and nine.
A funeral will be held for Connie Murray on Monday.