Pediatrician’s body found bound and burning inside her home

By Arturo Garcia
Tuesday, January 22, 2013 12:02 EDT
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Pediatrician's body found tied up and burning in her home
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Philadelphia police are investigating the death of a local pediatrician after finding her body tied up and set on fire insider her home on Monday.

Investigators confirmed reports on Tuesday that the victim, 35-year-old Melissa Ketunuti, was taking part in a pediatric fellowship at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Ketunuti’s body was found with her hands and feet tied behind her and a rope tied around her neck. Police said she was likely strangled to death before being set on fire.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on Monday that Ketunuti’s dog-walker alerted authorities after finding the body that afternoon. Police said there was no signs of forced entry.

“We don’t know if she walked in on individuals inside of her home,” Police Capt. James Clark said at a press conference on Tuesday. “We don’t know if it’s someone known to her or unknown to her.”

Clark also said investigators are speaking with Ketunuti’s boyfriend, but that he was not a suspect at this time. A $20,000 reward has been established for information leading to an arrest in the case.

One of the victim’s neighbors, Pamela Rimato-Tirone, told WPTI-TV on Monday she didn’t notice anything unusual at Ketunuti’s house when she walked by, just 10 minutes before her body was discovered.

“Everything was fine,” Tirone said. “I saw a guy going to visit [the home next door] because someone passed away, they were holding Shiva there today, everything was fine.”

Watch WPTI’s initial report from the scene, aired Jan. 21, 2013, below.

Arturo Garcia
Arturo Garcia
Arturo R. García is the managing editor at Racialicious.com. He is based in San Diego, California and has written for both print and broadcast media, including contributions to GlobalComment.com, The Root and Comment Is Free. Follow him on Twitter at @ABoyNamedArt
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