The discovery of 53-year-old Huan Mo's body was made by her husband and son in the office of the laundromat in the 4700 block of North 15th Street.
Her body was found around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday. The door to the laundromat was open and the lights were still on.
Police say Mo was killed sometime between 6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Mo suffered multiple stab wounds to the upper body, police said.
Police say Mo appears to have put up a fight.
"There were blood trails on the floor leading to the office area and in the office area it was really gruesome, a lot of blood," said Capt. James Clark of the Philadelphia Police. "It appeared to be a very violent attack."
Homicide detectives say, at this point, robbery appears to be the motive for this crime. Her killer got away with only a few hundred dollars.
Police say they have been unable to find surveillance cameras in the area that might have captured an image of the suspect.
Ralph Fisher lives across the street from the laundromat. He says Mo was always pleasant to customers.
"People are only trying to make a living. They provide a service to most of the people around here, because that laundromat is always busy," Fisher said.
Police say Mo and her family opened the laundromat in 2009.
"I think it's a shame that people can run their business and be safe," said neighbor Suzanne Thomas.
Mo lived in the 800 block of Dickinson in South Philadelphia.