Bridesburg Teen Charged with Mom's Stabbing Death, Grandmother Remains Hospitalized - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Bridesburg Teen Charged with Mom's Stabbing Death, Grandmother Remains Hospitalized



    Bridesburg Teen Charged with Mom's Stabbing Death, Grandmother Remains Hospitalized

    A teen, who neighbors say suffered years of abuse, killed his mother and put his grandmother in the hospital in a stabbing attack in their feces-covered Pennsylvanian home Friday, police said.

    Police charged 19-year-old Zachary Pritchett of Bridesburg with murder, criminal homicide, aggravated assault and related offenses.

    Neighbors on the 2800 block of Reynolds Street-- many who claim they often heard yelling coming from the home -- heard screams Friday morning and called police.

    Pritchett directed responding officers to the second floor where they found 53-year-old Melizza Wiley dead from multiple stab wounds to her face, neck and upper torso, according to officials.

    Woman Killed, 2 Hurt in Bridesburg Stabbing

    [PHI]Woman Killed, 2 Hurt in Bridesburg Stabbing
    Police say an argument proceeded a triple stabbing and death of one woman in the Bridesburg section of Philadelphia. NBC10's Monique Braxton says police were called to the 2800 block of Reynolds Street after neighbors heard screaming.
    (Published Friday, March 27, 2015)

    The teen's 73-year-old grandmother, who was in a hospital-type bed in the first floor living room, had also been stabbed in the face, neck and upper torso. Medics rushed her to Aria Torresdale Hospital, where she remains in critical, but stable condition, officials said.

    Investigators told NBC10 police have visited the home several times in the past. Several others who live on the block claimed they called police and the Department of Human Services, because they were concerned for the teen's welfare.

    "I called DHS many times," said Kelly McGrath, a neighbor. "I know other neighbors who have called. I also called the school board to inquire about his homeschooling."

    The home reportedly did not have running water and the gas was shut off.

    "He wasn't born with outward signs of problems, physical or mental or developmental," said McGrath, who recalled one instance when Pritchett, as a young boy, was "playing" with another child.

    "Zach stood and looked out the front storm door and the other kid would play with his cars. And Zach just watched him and that's how he played," she said. "We all said something bad is going to happen."

    Pritchett rarely left the home, according to multiple neighbors.

    The teen had lacerations on his hand from the incident and was treated at Aria Torresdale Hospital and released.  When officers first arrived at the home, Pritchett told them three unknown men entered the house and attacked the family, investigators said.

    Many in the community have said they hope authorities consider the years of alleged abuse Pritchett suffered in their investigation.

    "The ones of us who knew what was happening," McGrath said, "are all in support of him getting some sort of help rather than incarceration."