Missing van recovered in death of man, 78, in SW Philadelphia

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Police have a break in the murder of a senior citizen, who was killed inside his Southwest Philadelphia home. (WPVI)

Police have a break in the murder of a senior citizen, who was killed inside his Southwest Philadelphia home.

They've recovered what is believed to be 78-year-old Joseph Daly's missing blue 2003 Ford E-150 van with Pennsylvania tag PD5-338Z.

It was found Thursday evening in the 4700 block of Griscom Street in Frankford.

The owners of a nearby repair shop tell Action News that two young males pulled up in the van, asking them to repair or replace a flat tire.

The owners turned them away when those young males said they had no money to pay.

The van was found abandoned nearby.

Daly died of blunt force trauma and strangulation, investigators say. The suspects remain at large.

Daly had been targeted twice this past weekend.

"There's clearly two acts of violence against him, one on Friday night, after he dropped his son off at the airport, and then again Sunday night into Monday morning," Philadelphia Police Lt. Johnny Walker said.

Police say it was during that second attack when the suspects broke in through a back window at his home on the 6300 block of Theodore Street.

But it wasn't until a Tuesday afternoon welfare check that Daly's son and police discovered him dead on the living room floor.

"The son comes here to the house, gets no response which is odd, so he calls police," Walker said.

Walker says they have an idea about who is responsible.

"We think it's kids from this immediate vicinity and, obviously, we're not sure what the motivation was," Walker said.

Witnesses say as many as three people were seen fleeing the home early Monday morning.

"I heard a boom and that's it," neighbor James Jackson, Jr. said.

Friends described Daly as a good neighbor, always willing to lend a hand.

"Nobody deserves that, to get beat up," family friend Jean Coppola said.

Coppola fears she may have missed signs something wasn't right following his second attack.

"His van wasn't there and we just thought he was at a picnic or something for the holiday," Coppola said. "He could have been lying dead when we thought he was at a party, and that's what makes you feel bad."

Anyone who may have seen or heard what happened, or has information about the suspects are asked to contact detectives.
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