Philadelphia doctor's alleged killer was on a pest control call, police say

Jan 24, 2013 - by - 0 Comments

Jan. 24, 2013 CNN

Philadelphia -- The unsettling case of a doctor killed and set on fire in her Philadelphia home took another turn Thursday as police identified her alleged killer as an exterminator sent to her home to help clear it of rodents.

Jason Smith, 36, of Levittown, Pennsylvania, was charged Thursday with murder and other counts after detectives, using surveillance video and tips, identified him as the alleged killer of Melissa Ketunuti, a well-liked doctor and researcher at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Police say Smith got into an argument with Ketunuti in the basement of her row home in an affluent area of downtown Philadelphia. He knocked her down, then strangled her and then set her body on fire, police Capt. James Clark said at a news conference.

He declined to elaborate on the argument but said Ketunuti and Smith had never met.

"We're glad for the family we're at least able to give some closure with the arrest of this individual," Clark said.

Surveillance video shows Smith approaching her home and going inside at Ketunuti's invitation, he said.

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