'Horrible experience': Neighbor recalls finding woman decapitated inside Philadelphia home

Police say 34-year-old Ahmad Shareef decapitated his partner, 41-year-old Leila al Raheel, inside the kitchen of the home.

John Paul Image
Thursday, December 1, 2022
'Horrible experience': Neighbor found woman decapitated inside home
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"It was a very horrible experience," said Mary Liz while acknowledging she was still in a state of shock.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Police canvassed Magee Avenue in Philadelphia's Lawndale section on Wednesday asking neighbors to report suspicious activity just 24 hours after a gruesome discovery inside a home.

Police say 34-year-old Ahmad Shareef decapitated his partner, 41-year-old Leila al Raheel, inside the kitchen of the home.

"I'm here thinking I'm going to go apply pressure to the wound while I called the cops to help her out," said Mary Liz, who discovered the body. "I'm not thinking that I'm going to see what I saw."

Liz rents in the back of the home and made the gruesome discovery after getting a phone call for help.

"It was a very horrible experience," Liz said while acknowledging she was still in a state of shock.

Ahmad Shareef

Sources tell Action News that Shareef has a history of domestic disturbances involving multiple family members.

"I was very surprised to hear about this case," said Joana Otero-Cruz, who runs Women Against Abuse, a non-profit in Philadelphia that provides help and a safe place for people who escape domestic violence.

She said they typically see an increase in abuse around the holidays and wants victims to know they are not alone.

"A lot of people actually experience this. There is help out there," she said.

Two teen girls live in the home where the murder happened, they are now without their mother. Liz plans to try and look after them.

"Keep the family in prayer. Keep all of us in prayer," she said. "No one is worried about the children and their mental health and that's not fair. At the end of the day, this is affecting them."

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