Arrest made in fatal S. Phila double stabbing

January 13, 2012 4:31:00 PM PST
An arrest has been made in the brutal stabbing deaths of a man and woman found inside a South Philadelphia home.

The victims 50-year-old Janet Burgess and 78-year-old Eugene Zappacosta were found stabbed multiple times shortly before 10:00 Tuesday morning on the 1300 block of Dickinson Street.

After a number of tips and strenuous police work, 31-year-old Omar Johnson was arrested Friday morning and is awaiting charges for the murders.

Police say the incident began during an altercation between Johnson and Burgess inside the home.

The situation escalated to violence, with Johnson stabbing Burgess numerous times. As Zappacosta tried to help, the elderly man was also stabbed and killed.

Burgess who appeared to be sexually assaulted, was found in a front room with a belt around her neck. Zappacosta was found in a rear bathroom with a phone cord around his neck.

Police say in an attempt not to draw attention to the scene, Johnson stabbed Zappacosta's dogs to death as well.

Johnson fled the scene but police spotted him early Friday morning near Broad and Morris streets.

After a brief scuffle with police, he was quickly apprehended and remains in police custody.

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