awbury arboretum

Trust Fund Heir Found Dead in Arboretum, Boyfriend Charged With Murder

A Philadelphia man has been charged with the murder of his boyfriend, a Pottstown, Pennsylvania, man who disappeared in 2019. The suspect allegedly sent phone messages to family and friends of the victim for weeks to make them believe he was still alive.

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For nearly three years, Rashid Young's family wondered why he vanished suddenly from his Pottstown, Pennsylvania apartment in August 2019.

They recently hired a private investigator to try figuring out what happened to Young.

After prompting by the P.I., Montgomery County detectives uncovered a trail of evidence that led them to Young's boyfriend at the time of his disappearance, Keshaun Sheffield, 20, of Musgrave Street, Philadelphia. Through interviews -- including another former love interest of Sheffield -- cellphone data, bank account transactions and dental records, a murder charge was filed Wednesday against Sheffield.

“Since August 2019, a family has been searching for information about their missing son,” Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said Wednesday. "Today, we shared with them the tragic details of his death and will be able to return his remains to them for a proper burial."

Rashid Young, who was 22 when he disappeared in August 2019. (Photo provided by Montgomery County District Attorney's Office)

Sheffield, according to Steele, went to extraordinary lengths to cover up his killing of Young inside Young's apartment on Aug. 19, 2019. The two were fighting on that day and Sheffield allegedly stabbed Young to death, according to investigators.

Sheffield initially hid Young's death by ransacking and flooding the Pottstown apartment, according to the criminal affidavit. The suspect then sent texts and Facebook messages to Young's family and friends for months after the killing to give the appearance that Young was still alive, the affadavit says.

Sheffield also allegedly stole thousands of dollars from money provided twice a month to Young from a $2 million trust fund, according to investigators.

Eventually, Young's family went to police in December 2019 to report the 22-year-old man missing.

Still, he was not found, and the missing persons case went cold, according to investigators.

Young's body, however, was discovered in 2019 just weeks after his death, but no one realized it.

Human remains were found Sept. 30, 2019, buried inside the Awbury Arboretum in the Germantown section of Northwest Philadelphia. The arboretum is a 56-acre garden and historical estate near East Washington Lane and Chew Avenue.

After the investigation picked up again this year, dental records tested over the Memorial Day weekend determined that the body discovered by a gardener at the arboretum in 2019 was Young's.

That discovery followed an alleged confession from another former lover of Sheffield. That person, who has not been identified, allegedly admitted to helping Sheffield bury the body at the arboretum, according to the criminal affidavit.

Other evidence recently uncovered that points to Sheffield, according to the affidavit, includes cellphone data that indicates messages from Young's device were sent from the Philadelphia home where Sheffield lived with his mother.

Keshaun Sheffield has been charged with first-degree murder in Rashid Young's death. (Photo provided by Montgomery County District Attorney's Office)

Those messages were ones that detectives allege Sheffield wrote to make Young's family and friends believe the victim was alive and avoiding his family, according to investigators.

Bank records also show that, between July 2019 and December 2019, someone made 15 fund transfers from Young's bank account to an account owned by Sheffield, according to the affidavit.

Young received $800 every two weeks from a $2 million trust fund, investigators said.

The trust fund was finally frozen in December 2019 when Young was declared missing.

Sheffield is being held in Montgomery County Jail without bail. He has a preliminary hearing scheduled for June 9.

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