Suspect in deadly 2016 Philadelphia stabbing already behind bars. Here's how police solved the case

Rickie Morgan was stabbed to death in a vacant lot in the city's Kensington section.

John Paul Image
Wednesday, December 7, 2022
Suspect named in 2016 murder case. Here's how police found him
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Rickie Morgan was stabbed to death in a vacant lot back in 2016, and now police revealed that they have a suspect who has been sitting in jail since that time on different murder charges.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A suspect was just named in a murder case from July of 2016 in Philadelphia's Kensington neighborhood.

Rickie Morgan was stabbed to death in a vacant lot that summer, and now police revealed that they have a suspect who has been sitting in jail since that time on different murder charges.

"When he said it, I fell to my knees," said Carol Smail, the mother of Morgan, after getting a phone call from detectives that they had a suspect.

Byron Allen, 43, is the man who allegedly killed Morgan. She was found naked near the area where she was stabbed.

According to police, surveillance video showed her with a man on a bicycle shortly before she was killed.

It was part of a string of attacks on prostitutes. Many were sexually assaulted, strangled or stabbed in that same area.

"She was a loving person. She had a good heart. She loved to help people. Her only downfall was her addiction," Smail said.

The subpoena in the case stated that someone identified Byron Allen as the suspect after watching a report on 6abc. He was later convicted of killing Natasha Gibson in Yeadon in a similar crime. He's been in prison since 2016 while police tried to connect him to Morgan's murder.

"That's been the battle I've been up against. Trying to get enough evidence somehow to name him as her killer," said Smail.

Police now believe they have that evidence. The subpoena said based on the facts and circumstances and based on the pattern and practices used by Byron Allen, he is the suspect.

Despite how long it took, Smail said she always knew this day would come.

"As a mother, I never gave up. I never would. Rickie fought till her dying breath," said Smail.

Allen is currently in prison in Collegeville.