Mom of Sabina Rose O'Donnell: "Please help us"

Pictured: Sabina Rose O'Donnell

June 5, 2010 8:35:27 PM PDT
The mother of murder victim Sabina Rose O'Donnell is asking for the public's help in finding the young woman's killer.

Sabina Rose's mother, Rachel O'Donnell, made a tearful plea asking for the public's help in catching the criminal that killed her daughter.

"Sabina was a gifted, beautiful spirit whose loss will be felt by many. Please help us expedite this investigation," Rachel O'Donnell said Thursday night. "Sabina was very loved and it feels very good to know she had a lot of people that cared about her."

Friends held a fundraiser Friday afternoon to help boost the reward offered in this case. The reward, managed by the Citizen's Crime Commission, now stands at $25,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

Anyone with information in this case can call the Citizen's Crime Commission at 215-546-TIPS. Callers can remain anonymous.

Investigators have determined that O'Donnell died of strangulation and was sexually assaulted. That determination came from an autopsy conducted Thursday.

Authorities say O'Donnell was found with a bra wrapped around her neck. Police place the time of her death at between 2:00 a.m. and 3:30 a.m. Wednesday.

It was around 9:55 a.m. Wednesday morning when officials were notified of a body, later identified as Sabina Rose, with no clothing in a vacant lot.

The lot, in the city's Kensington section and across the border from the Northern Liberties neighborhood, was right next to the apartment building she shared with her stepfather near 4th and Girard.

Police say O'Donnell was out with friends Tuesday night at El Camino, a bar on 2nd Street, and ended up at a friend's house at Front and Girard.

At some point early Wednesday morning, police say O'Donnell rode a bicycle home.

Police say an unknown male snatched her as she arrived at the apartment building and she was then dragged to the rear of the building.

Although police have not singled out a suspect, DNA evidence was collected and will be put through the FBI's CODIS (Combined DNA Index System) database to see if it matches anyone who had previously been arrested.

Sabina's friends and relatives created a Facebook page in her memory which featured many photos of a young woman described by her mother as a beautiful, magical woman.

RELATED: Facebook page in honor of Sabina Rose

As this investigation continues, friends still found it hard to believe that someone who lived her life with so much joy had to die such a horrible, tragic death.

"She was sweet, genuine, you could tell she was just full of life and would never harm anyone," Sabina's friend Christine Romero said. "She really didn't deserve this."

Fundraiser held Saturday night

Tommy Up, the owner of the Piazza at Schmidt's eatery where Sabina Rose O'Donnell worked, says with the fundraiser Saturday night, he hopes the police will be able to catch her killer.

"Want to set our family, our restaurant, and the neighborhood at peace and want to bring her some sense of justice," Up said.