The weeklong search for a young pregnant mother missing from Delaware County has ended in tragedy as her body was found in Southwest Philadelphia.
Overnight into Tuesday morning, Philadelphia police confirmed they had found a woman’s body near 58th Street and Eastwick Avenue in Southwest Philadelphia and they alerted Upper Darby police.
Police in Upper Darby then said Tuesday morning the body was that of 21-year-old Dianna Brice, who went missing on March 30 along with her boyfriend, Justin Smith.
"Words don't express how sad it is for a young woman who leaves behind a 4-year-old child and was 3 to 4 months pregnant with her second," Upper Darby Police Superintendent Timothy Bernhardt said.
Bernhardt said that the discovery was made thanks to hard work by Philadelphia and Upper Darby investigators. He didn't reveal how Brice died or how her body was found.
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Brice disappeared after telling her mother she was going with her boyfriend to pick up a daily medication she takes for a serious medical condition. She later called to say they were driving to Philadelphia. That was the last the family heard from her.
The mother said that hours later she got a hold of Smith who told her Brice took off on foot after an argument. Brice's father, who did not want to be identified, spoke with NBC10 about that conversation.
"She calls him, and he was like, 'Oh yeah, me and her was arguing.' And she got out at 57th and Springfield," he said. "First of all, as a man, if that's my lady and she pregnant, I'm not letting you out of the car. And if I do, I'm going to follow you and I'm going to call either your brother or sister or somebody to tell them to come and get you."
Police wouldn't comment Tuesday about the whereabouts of Smith.
Then, later that day Smith's car was found on fire in West Philadelphia, near Florence Avenue and 59th Street in West Philadelphia – that’s a little more than 1 mile from where the body was found.
"But to dump my daughter out like this, like she's trash, that's where the problem comes in," Brice's father said. "This is a dumpsite. My daughter ain't trash."
Investigators have yet to reveal how they believe Brice died.
Philadelphia police will lead the investigation.
Brice's loved ones had a message for Smith, who they said had argued with her about being 4 months pregnant with their child.
"We would like for you to turn yourself in man," Tito Rivera, Brice's cousin, said. "We just want you to do the right thing."
Brice's father described her as a homebody and a good mother who often hung out with her cousins. She would have turned 22 on April 15.
"She'd give you the world," he said. "She'd do anything for you. She's always home. And now it's like, when I come, I can't even see her if I visit her. I mean I'm trying to tell my son. I just can't."