Police Say Doctor Was Tied Up, Strangled, Then Set On Fire - KMSP-TV

Police Say Doctor Was Tied Up, Strangled, Then Set On Fire

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A Philadelphia Police Department crime scene unit van sits outside of the home where a woman's body was found burning Monday. A Philadelphia Police Department crime scene unit van sits outside of the home where a woman's body was found burning Monday.
Melissa Ketunuti's body was found burning inside of her Center City home Monday. Melissa Ketunuti's body was found burning inside of her Center City home Monday.

Homicide investigators returned to the home of murdered doctor Melissa Ketunuti with her boyfriend and two close friends Tuesday.

They were looking for something that would help them unlock the mystery behind her brutal death.

"Her hands and feet had been bound behind her with some type of rope," Capt. James Clark of the Homicide Unit said. "There was some type of rope around her neck. Right now it appears the cause of death was strangulation and her body was set on fire."

Crime scene investigators also returned to the home on the 1700 block of Naudain Street, a few blocks from Rittenhouse Square. They arrived as the victim's friends left the house.

"Do you guys want to say anything about Melissa?" FOX 29's Dave Schratwieser asked as they left the scene.

"Not yet, please," her boyfriend said.

Capt. Clark says they are interviewing the 35-year-old's boyfriend, a doctor from New York, but he is not a suspect.

Detectives say Ketunuti ran several errands around Center City Monday morning before she was found dead. Her body was on fire when her dog walker came to the home.

"We don't know if she walked in on individuals inside her property, we don't know if individuals forced her inside of her property. We don't know if it's a known doer or an unknown doer," Clark explained.

"It's pretty shocking to have a violent crime happen right next door to you," neighbor Andrew Cattaneo told FOX 29.

Many here said Ketunuti's death came as a real shocker in this upscale neighborhood. No one could figure it out.

"She was very pleasant really very nice, it's shocking," one said "It's upsetting. I hope they find out what happened."

"Sounded real personal to me because if it was just a robbery, there would be no reason to do that," another added.

Police are not sure if robbery is a motive. Children's Hospital issued a statement saying  Ketunuti was warm, caring, earnest, a bright young woman who had her whole future ahead of her. She was admired and loved by everyone she worked with.

An arson dog was brought to the scene Tuesday afternoon as detectives searched for more clues.

No arrests have been made.

Police say they do not have any suspects or persons of interest. They are checking surveillance video from the area to determine if anyone was following the victim Monday while she was running errands.

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