Questions still linger about suspect in doctor's murder

January 28, 2013 2:18:08 PM PST
The suspect in the murder of Melissa Ketunuti is being held without bail, Philadelphia police announced Monday.

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36-year-old Jason Smith is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on February 13th.

Over the weekend, surveillance video was released that showed both the victim and her accused killer.

In the surveillance video from a South Street coffee shop, Ketunuti, a doctor at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, can be seen making her way home last Monday.

Seconds later, the exterminator she had an appointment with, Smith, can be seen walking in the same direction.

Several days after the arrest of Smith for the murder, Ketunuti's neighbors still have lingering questions.

"If he was someone with no priors, why would he just snap and kill someone," asked one neighbor.

Investigators are also suspicious, which is why Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey says detectives plan to use Smith's DNA to see if he's connected to any other crimes in the city.

"He's certainly leading us to believe this was the only time something like this has happened but we have to make sure we cover everything," said Comm. Ramsey.

Police say Smith strangled, bound and set the 35-year-old pediatrician on fire in her basement on Naudain Street. This after the two, who were meeting for the first time, got into an argument and he felt belittled.

Detectives say an hour later, surveillance cameras captured Smith leaving with his coat off and gloves on, carrying his work bag before his truck was seen circling the block.

Those details have investigators looking into cold cases like the Pennypack Park rapist who has attacked three women since 2010.

Authorities say the suspect in that crime is believed to be a contractor with a work truck and a family man who's familiar with the area.

"If he's so clever and so devious to do something like this then there are possibilities of him being linked to other criminal acts that are just as vicious," said Joseph Malloy.

Meanwhile, Ketunuti was remembered by friends and loved ones Saturday during a service in Bensalem.

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