Wilmington playground death ruled homicide; victim's boyfriend arrested

WILMINGTON, Del. (WPVI) -- Wilmington police have arrested the boyfriend of a woman who was found dead on a playground in Wilmington, Delaware.

34-year-old Gary Perkins of Wilmington is charge with 1st degree murder in the death of 29-year-old Jamie Murphy of New Castle.

Police were dispatched at 10:30 a.m. Thursday to Canby Park, located in the area of the 600 block of South Union Street, for the report of a suspicious person.

Upon arrival officers located Jamie Murphy of New Castle unresponsive on a piece of playground equipment.

She was pronounced dead at the scene. Part of her clothing appeared to be at her ankles.

Investigators canvassed Canby Park. A drone was deployed to search from above, and metal detectors were used to inspect the grassy areas.

Within hours detectives identified Perkins as a suspect. Shortly thereafter he was taken into custody in the area of 10th and King Streets.

After questioning, Perkins was booked on the charge of Murder in the 1st Degree.

Police say Perkins was known to have had previous violent encounters with the victim.

While police combed the scene, neighbors watched stunned by the developments.

Tim Walsh, who lives nearby, tells us, "You just never expect to see a dead body, and it's kind of, you know, scary. It takes you back a step."

Walsh says the park is bustling with activity at all hours of the day. Usually children during the day, but sometimes other unsavory acts at night.

On a day for playing in the pleasant weather, the crime scene left a chill.

Walsh says, "You never expect to see this, and I've been here a very long time."

Authorities have not yet released information about how Murphy died, only labeling her death a homicide.
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