Woman brutally beaten to death with 2 pipes inside Old City office building

Police say the woman was struck at least five times in the head while sitting with her back turned in a reception area.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia police are investigating after a woman was beaten to death in Old City.

It happened inside an office building on the 300 block of Chestnut Street around 2:14 p.m. Wednesday.

Police said a 48-year-old male suspect from Philadelphia attacked a 31-year-old woman from New Jersey with two large metal pipes that were approximately two feet long and one inch wide.

Police said the woman, who has so far only been identified as a team leader in the building, was struck at least five times in the head while sitting with her back turned in a reception area.



She later died at Jefferson University Hospital.

Sources told Action News the attack may have been fueled over a rent dispute.

Police confirmed the suspect was renting one to two units on the eighth floor of the building where the victim also worked.

"We know that they know each other. We believe there may have been some arguments or problems in the past, however, we are still working on that information," said Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small.

Police said about 20 calls to 911 reporting the attack were made.

Detectives also questioned some 10 witnesses.

Investigators said those witnesses did not appear to intervene, but the victim did try and protect herself.

"She had defensive wounds on both of her hands," said Small.

As for the suspect, police said once they arrived on the scene he was seen getting out of the elevator covered in blood and was holding a bag carrying the two pipes likely used in the assault.

He was taken to the homicide unit for questioning.

"It was definitely a very violent, tragic incident," said Small.

The suspect has not been identified.

It is not clear how many charges he will face.

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