Woman is charged with murdering pregnant mother, 21, who was found dead in the woods of Philadelphia
A Pennsylvania woman has been charged with the murder of a pregnant mother whose body was discovered in the woods near Philadelphia last week – while police are on the hunt for the victim’s friend suspected of shooting her.
On Monday, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office issued an arrest warrant for Justin Smith, 23, the missing friend of 21-year-old Dianna Brice.
Two days earlier, police arrested 21-year-old Tylydiah Garnett of North Philadelphia on charges of arson, conspiracy and two charges of misuse of a corpse.
Tylydiah Garnett, 21 (left), has been charged with arson, conspiracy and two charges of corpse abuse in connection with the death of Dianna Brice, 21 (right)
An arrest warrant was issued Monday for Brice’s boyfriend, Justin Smith, 23, who is suspected of shooting and murdering her.
Officials said Garnett was featured on surveillance video helping Brice’s body disposed of, it reported Fox 29.
Brice was four months pregnant with her and Smith’s child, a son, at the time of her death. She also has a four-year-old son.
Smith’s car was found on fire on 59th and Florence streets in southwest Philadelphia on the night of Brice’s disappearance on March 30.
Less than a week later, on April 5, police found Brice’s lifeless body in a wooded lot in southwest Philadelphia, less than a mile away from Smith’s burned-out 2018 Ford Fusion.
Brice was four months pregnant with her second child, a boy, when she disappeared on March 30
Brice’s body was found Monday night in this wooded area of south Philadelphia just under a week after she went missing
An autopsy conducted last week found that Brice died of multiple gunshot wounds to the head, and her death was considered murder.
It’s just tragic. It speaks to the senseless violence that happens every day, ”said Timothy Bernhardt, Chief Superintendent of Police at Upper Darby. ‘And here’s a mother of a 4-year-old child and was expecting her second child, she was four months pregnant, and that child will never see its mother again and her family will never see her daughter again. It’s tragic. ‘
Police said they believe Smith shot his pregnant girlfriend in his car after falling out with her.
Brice’s mother, Betty Cellini, said her daughter seemed upset before Smith picked her up from a laundromat the day she went missing.
Cellini told me too WPVI-TV that when she spoke to Smith, he told her that Brice was so angry with him that she didn’t want to talk to him.
Police say they believe Smith shot Brice in the head several times, killed her, then stripped her body with Garnett’s help and set his car on fire to destroy evidence.
According to police, after Smith fired on Brice, he contacted Garnett, who was caught on video buying a container of gasoline and took it to his garage.
Another camera near the garage is said to have captured Garnett and Smith loading a heavy object, believed to be Brice’s body, into the trunk of Smith’s car.
Garnett is said to have accompanied Smith to the 5800 block of Eastwich Avenue, where police say he dumped Brice’s body in a pile of rubble.
Smith then used the gasoline Garnett bought him to set fire to his car nearby.
Garnett was detained in Florida and later returned to Pennsylvania, where she is still imprisoned.
Smith is still at large and police say they have no information about his whereabouts.