Suspect in doctor killing not a licensed exterminator

Philadelphia police say the suspect, Jason Smith, 36, of Crescent Lane in Levittown, was charged on Thursday morning in connection with the death of 35-year-old Melissa Ketunuti. Sources say Smith, who is charged with murder, arson, abuse of a corpse and causing/risking a catastrophe, has confessed to the crime.
January 25, 2013 2:47:38 PM PST
Action News learned more Friday about the suspect in the murder of Dr. Melissa Ketunuti - and the company he worked for.

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Like many of us, Dr. Ketunuti let a stranger into her house to do some work. Police say that man, an exterminator, killed her.

Police say 36-year-old Jason Smith was captured on video surveillance going in and out of Dr. Ketunuti's home.

They say he strangled her in the basement and set her body on fire. She had called an exterminator for a rodent problem.

She apparently picked the first company that pops up on the Yellow Pages website: Dave Bilyk Exterminators. But Bilyk didn't do the work. Police say he subcontracted the job to Smith.

Action News has learned that Smith is not a licensed exterminator.

We've also learned that neither is Bilyk, who advertises a full array of pest control on his website. State records show that Bilyk's license expired in 2011.

His website touts an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

A spokesman says they've had no complaints about the company, but were unaware his license had expired.

Bilyk's business address appears to be his home in Newtown, Bucks County.

No one answered the door Friday. We have also not been able to reach Bilyk by phone.

State officials say he would need a license to handle pesticides and so would his subcontractors.

But that may not apply if Smith only set traps for rodents instead of leaving poison bait on his rounds for Bilyk.

After he left the murder scene here, police say Smith kept an appointment with another homeowner in New Jersey.

This chilling scenario is a sobering reminder of the importance of researching the repair and service people we invite into our homes.

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Meantime, Action News heard from one of Dr. Ketunuti's colleagues at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) Friday.

Dr. Paul Offit is Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at CHOP.

He talked about what a big loss Ketunuti's death represents for his department.

"We're all in shock," said Dr. Offit. "We're all just sort of holding each other and crying. As we train people in our division, they're our future. The old line is, 'When you lose your parents you lose your past, when you lose your children you lose your future.' And I think in a sense Melissa was one of our children."

Ketunuti was on a fellowship at the hospital.

Ketunuti's family issued a statement Friday, saying, "Melissa was a source of joy to everyone in her life. Her passing has left an enormous gap."


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