Searching for Answers in ‘Sadistic' Killing of Woman in Bathtub 1 Year Later

Police hope a $5,000 reward will help lead them to Markia Benson's killer

One year after a woman was found in the bathtub of a Delaware County apartment complex, police put out a new plea to bring her "sadistic" killer to justice.

Markia Benson died from "blunt and sharp force head injuries complicated by immersion and extensive scald burns" on March 30, 2016, the Delaware County medical examiner said. Authorities described the death as a "senseless, sadistic murder." 

Benson's naked body was discovered in a unit at the New Orleans Park Apartments on the 900 block of South Avenue in Secane. The shower was still on, water pouring down, when her body was found by a coworker who went to check on her, police said.

"It was a very, very senseless, sadistic murder and whoever committed this murder we believe she knew," Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood said at the time.

"The apartment itself was in total disarray — blood on the walls, feces on the floors, some writing on the walls," he added.

The medical examiner's office told NBC10 Benson's death was ruled a homicide. There was no forced entry into the apartment, said Chitwood.

Chitwood said the 36-year-old had wounds to her head and neck and she appeared to have been strangled.

Upper Darby police called Benson "a young, kind professional woman" and said the department was "outraged over this senseless act of violence."

On Wednesday, police reminded people of a $5,000 reward for bringing Benson's killer to justice.

Police said that Benson was last seen alive getting into or out of her car the night before her death and a text message was sent from her phone to her mother around 7:45 the morning she was found dead.

A male friend and a co-worker from Chester-based SIG Shipping & Packing went to the apartment after Benson failed to show up for work and found her body along with a manager of the complex.

"Whoever killed her — based on what we've seen at the scene — it was done with a hatred, with a vengeance and with just, just predatory, sadistic violence," Chitwood said.

Police asked anyone with info to call 610-734-7693.

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