It's not clear if 33-year-old Debra Gulliver was targeted. But Nancy Celia believes her daughter died trying to fight off her killer.
"She's 5 foot, blonde, cute, little, beautiful, green eyes, but she's tough. There were a lot of defensive wounds so she definitely put up a fight, and she didn't go fast," Celia said.
Gulliver, of the 2500 block of North 25th Street, was discovered on a path leading to the park behind the school.
When she was found by a passerby around 3:20 a.m. Saturday, police say she was covered in blood and partially clothed.
Gulliver had suffered stab wounds all over her legs, torso and chest, as well as blunt force trauma to her head.
Police say she was stabbed 15 times, with such force the knife blade broke from its handle.
Paramedics tried unsuccessfully to revive her.
Philadelphia Police Captain Drew Techner said, "This was a brutal savage attack. Someone wanted to make sure she suffered and was killed."
Police say Gulliver had been with friends in Kensington about an hour before the attack. Then she and another friend took a bus to 21st and Lehigh where they parted ways, and she can be seen on video entering a park adjacent to Dobbins High School.
"They're buddies. He lives this way and she lives that way, so he didn't walk her home," Celia said.
Gulliver was one of four murders in the city over the weekend.
Community leaders and area clergy held a small gathering Monday night to address the crime gripping city streets.
"The last couple of months have been really violent and senseless, it's getting disgusting," community activist Terrance Burns said.
Three people called 911 Saturday morning, but two left before talking to police.
One of the callers, the passerby who found the body, told police they were robbed by two unknown males inside the park prior to discovering the victim.
Police are uncertain if it was a single assailant or multiple assailants responsible.
Celia had a message for the person responsible.
"Jail is too good, I've always felt this way. Jail is too good. This person needs to suffer the way they made her suffer," Celia said.
Family and friends are holding a vigil for Gulliver on Wednesday.
There is a $20,000 reward posted for information leading to an arrest.
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