A man who rented space on a floor of a building in Philadelphia's Old City neighborhood beat a woman to death as she sat in the receptionist chair in an office inside, police said.
The murder occurred Wednesday afternoon inside Suite 800 on the 8th floor of the Regus building on the 300 block of Chestnut Street. Police responded to the location shortly after 2 p.m. after receiving about 20 911 calls reporting a person screaming and a person with a weapon inside the building.
When police arrived they found a 48-year-old man with blood on him carrying a bag and exiting the elevator on the first floor. Police searched the bag and found two metal pipes, each two feet long and an inch-wide, covered with blood, investigators said. The man was then taken into custody.
When police entered the 8th floor they found a 31-year-old woman suffering from severe head injuries and wounds to her hands and arms. She was taken to Jefferson University Hospital where she was pronounced dead at 3:16 p.m.
Police also found blood on the floor. Witnesses told investigators the victim, who they described as a "team leader," was sitting in the receptionist chair in an office on the 8th floor when the 48-year-old man walked up to her and struck her at least five times in the head with the metal pipe.
Police have not yet identified the suspect but believe he rented at least one office on the 8th floor. They also said he lives near the building.
Police also have not yet identified the victim but said she is from New Jersey. They also said the victim and suspect knew each other and had conflicts in the past. They don't believe the incident was domestic however and they don't believe they ever had a romantic relationship. They also have not yet determined a motive.
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"We know that they know each other," Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said. "We believe there may have been some arguments or problems in the past. However we are still working on that information by interviewing some witnesses."