Funeral for Mom of 2 as Husband Sits in Jail

A Northeast Philadelphia mother found dead in a quiet city park will be laid to rest as her husband sits behind bars accused of her murder.

Friends and family gathered Monday morning at John F. Givnish funeral home on Academy Road to remember Constance "Connie" Murray.

The Holme Circle mother of two girls was found dead Tuesday morning in Pennypack Park.

Police say Christopher Murray, 48, confessed over the weekend to killing his wife last Monday night at the park following an argument. According to investigators, there were ongoing domestic issues between the husband and wife, which culminated in the 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 Ford 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 Lt. Philip Riehl.

Police say Christopher Murray continued to follow his wife 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 near the Crispin Rec Center. Investigators say he then contacted police around 2 a.m. and reported his wife 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 car, police identified him as a suspect. Investigators took him 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 Connie Murray. A judge denied Christopher Murray bail and set Murray's preliminary hearing for later this month.

According to law enforcement sources, Christopher and Connie had known each other since they were between the ages of eight and nine.

Funeral services for Connie Murray began with a viewing Monday morning followed by funeral services.

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