Officials released the cause of death of a woman who was found in the bathtub of a Delaware County apartment complex.
The Medical Examiner's Office said Markia Benson, 36, died from "blunt and sharp force head injuries complicated by immersion and extensive scald burns." Her death was ruled a homicide and described by authorities as "senseless, sadistic murder."
Benson's naked body was discovered around 4:45 p.m. Wednesday in a unit at Building G of the New Orleans Park Apartments on the 900 block of South Avenue in Secane, according to Upper Darby police. The shower was still on, water pouring down, when her body was found. [[374129051, C]]
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"It was a very, very senseless, sadistic murder and whoever committed this murder we believe she knew," said Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood, while addressing reporters about the preliminary investigation Thursday.
"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."
Neighbors told NBC10 the victim had only lived at the apartment building for a few months and kept to herself most of the time.
Police said that Benson was last seen alive Tuesday night getting into or out of her car and a text message was sent from her phone to her mother around 7:45 a.m. Wednesday.
A male friend and a co-worker from Chester-based SIG Shipping & Packing went to the apartment separately after Benson failed to show up for work Wednesday. They found Benson's body after an apartment manager let the duo in.
Police put the time of death as sometime Wednesday morning.
"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," said Chitwood.
No arrests have been made and police asked anyone with info to call 610-734-7693.