Burgess linked to second murder

RIDLEY TWP., Pa. - December 22, 2008 - Authorities are now linking him to another, similar murder.

37-year-old /*Jermaine Burgess*/ said nothing as he was escorted to a Delaware County courtroom Monday. But investigators say his DNA speaks volumes about his alleged involvement in the murder of 81-year-old /*Marie Ott*/ on October 27th.

"The DNA matched the profile of Jermaine Burgess," said Capt. Charles Howley of Ridley Twp. Police.

It's the second time DNA linked Burgess to a recent Delaware County crime. The first is last month's brutal murder of 60-year-old /*Hoa Pham*/ and the sexual assault of his wife in their Upper Darby home.

Officials say the DNA match bolstered their suspicions about similarities between the two random home invasions.

"We certainly believe the person who brutally killed Hoa Pham and Marie Ott has been apprehended," said Delaware County D.A. Mike Green.

Burgess reportedly confessed to killing Ott and sent police to a creek along McDade Boulevard where they recovered a knife and bloody clothes he allegedly ditched there.

The slayings terrified people in both communities. Pham was a respected leader in the Vietnamese community and at St. Agnes Catholic Church.

His pastor says the arrest sparked a wave of relief.

"Yesterday when I announced the arrest of Mr Burgess to my congregation, people reacted 'Thanks be to God for peace of mind," said Fr. Peter Quinn.

Burgess lived near the Upper Darby victim and visited relatives next door to the elderly victim. He recently left prison after convictions of serious crimes in 1990, 1993 and 2000.

He was in Philadelphia police custody when charged in Delaware County because he'd been arrested in connection with a Philadelphia car jacking last week.

"During the struggle, Mr. Burgess attempted to take two officers guns. Because of training they were able to keep them in the holsters," said Lt. John Walker of the Philadelphia Police.

Philadelphia police are looking at burglaries, rapes and murders for similarities to the two Delaware County cases Burgess is already charged with.

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