Social Worker Assassinated After Uncovering Staffer's Embezzlement of $40K: Police

A Philadelphia social worker's employee assassinated her in broad daylight last month because she was about to report him for embezzling tens of thousands of dollars from the agency where they worked, homicide detectives said Monday.

Randolph Sanders, 36, is charged with the murder of Kim Jones. Investigators said the man confessed to carrying out the crime over the weekend after police tracked him, using surveillance video, traveling from the crime scene to his SUV miles away.

"This is the type of investigation that leaves you angry and confounded," Philadelphia Police Deputy Commissioner Richard Ross said. "It just breaks your heart."

An "absolute scumbag" is how Jones' son, Jean-Paul Jourden described his mother's alleged killer. "He took one of the greatest people in the world away forever. He didn't just hurt this family, he hurt the world."

Both Sanders and Jones worked at Turning Points for Children, a non-profit program that provides parent education and family support services. Jones served as program director, while Sanders was assistant director. Sanders had worked at Turning Points for over two years and was hired by Jones, according to investigators.

Philadelphia Police Homicide Capt. James Clark said Jones uncovered Sanders had stolen at least $40,000 from the organization. She was planning to report him to the Department of Human Services, which provided the stolen monies, the morning she was murdered, Clark said.

Around 9 a.m. on January 13, Sanders donned all-black clothing and hid his face as he stalked the 56-year-old mother-of-two walking from her North Philadelphia home to a SEPTA bus stop at 12th and Jefferson Streets, police said.

Surveillance video captured the suspect pull a handgun from a duffle bag, point it at the back of Jones' head and pull the trigger. Jones was listening to gospel music at the time, police said. The shooter then calmly walked away.

The Homicide Unit's Special Task Force reviewed hundreds of hours of surveillance video from across the city that eventually led them to Sanders.

He walked from 12th and Jefferson Streets, through Temple University's campus and got on the Broad Street Subway, Clark said. He got off three miles north, at Broad and Hunting Park, and walked to his SUV parked along the 4200 block of Carlisle Street before driving away, according to police.

It was his SUV, a silver 2007 GMC Yukon with a distinct black sticker on the back, that led homicide detectives to him.

"Detective's big break in the case came when they realized that the suspect...drove the same type of vehicle," Clark said.

Sanders was taken into custody on Saturday and charged the next day. He was arraigned overnight Monday and denied bail. He's due in court on February 18.

The Turning Point program Sanders and Jones handled had a budget of $1 million. Authorities are still probing to determine if he stole additional money.

Contact Vince Lattanzio at 610.668.5532, or follow @VinceLattanzio on Twitter and Facebook.

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