Police: Woman beaten to death in Kensington

KENSINGTON (WPVI) -- Philadelphia police are searching for the suspect in the brutal beating of a woman in Kensington.

They say this is one of the most gruesome scenes they've ever witnessed.

Police were called to the area for reports of a person screaming.

Authorities found the 35-year-old victim around 11:20 p.m. Saturday at the intersection of East Letterly and Jasper streets.

The victim was completely naked and covered in blood.

Homicide detectives believe she was attacked with a board in an alley on the 1900 block of East Cumberland Street. They say she ran for about a block before she collapsed.

She was dead when police arrived.

"She was bloody from head to toe and completely naked. She appears, at this time, to have been stabbed once in the right neck," said Philadelphia Police Capt. Robert Ritchie.

Neighbors tells us they're shocked and saddened by the news.

Rochele Santiago says the victim asked her for a cigarette less than an hour earlier.

"It kinda broke my heart because just speaking to her for them couple minutes and just saying, 'Hi,' to her," said Santiago.

Neighbors say they know the victim as a respectful woman, one of two homeless prostitutes who spent most every evening in the vacant lot where the attack happened.

Two months ago, and less than a mile away, a 30-year-old woman was also found bludgeoned and stabbed in a home on the 2900 block of Rosehill Street. No suspect was arrested.

In this weekend's case, police are reviewing surveillance video from 10 cameras in hopes of catching the killer who has left neighbors with likely unanswerable questions.

"Why would someone do something so evil to her? Something so cruel?" asked Santiago.

As with all homicides in the city, a $20,000 reward is offered for information leading to the killer's arrest and conviction.
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