Prosecutor asks for public's help in Nadirah Ruffin murder

April 21, 2011 12:50:21 PM PDT
The Atlantic County prosecutor held a news conference on Thursday to ask for the public's help as the investigation into the abduction and killing of 19-year-old Nadirah Ruffin continues.

Ruffin, the mother of a 4-year-old son, was abducted at gunpoint by masked men from an Atlantic City home on the night of Saturday, March 26th.

Her body was discovered floating in the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park earlier this week.

At the news conference, Atlantic County Prosecutor Ted Housel asked anyone who may have seen anything suspicious in Fairmount Park in the early morning hours of Sunday, March 27th, to come forward.

While the medical examiner has not determined the date of Ruffin's death, Housel's request indicates that investigators believe Ruffin could have been killed in the hours after she was abducted.

"If someone from the public might have observed something unusual, with respect to somebody being in that area, or something consistent with someone moving or depositing something in that area," Housel said.

Housel went on to say that a light-colored automobile with New Jersey tags may have been involved. The car would be about the size of a Ford Focus.

Ruffin's body was badly decomposed, Housel said, and the date of Ruffin's death may never be known.

Also in the news conference, Housel said he couldn't confirmed if Ruffin was specifically targeted before her abduction, but "obviously she was abducted for some reason."

Anyone with information can call the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office at 609-909-7800 or go to the Prosecutor's Office Web site at and provide information by filling out the form anonymously on the Submit a Tip page.

Medical examiners determined that Ruffin died of a gunshot wound, and the case has been classified a homicide.

Philadelphia police said Ruffin's body was spotted by a bicyclist in Fairmount Park on Tuesday. Police said she had duct tape around her head and body and a handcuff attached to her left ankle.

The FBI has offered a reward of up to $20,000 for information in the case.

Housel says his office is taking over the investigation, with help from the FBI and Atlantic City and Philadelphia police.