UK & World News
Burning Body Of Philadelphia Doctor Found
The body of a paediatrician has been found bound and burned inside her home in downtown Philadelphia.
Investigators said they have not uncovered any substantial leads into the death of 35-year-old Melissa Ketunuti.
Firefighters found her body on fire in the basement of the house, with her ankles and wrists bound behind her and rope around her neck, Captain James Clark of the Homicide Unit said.
He added that there was no sign of forced entry.
"We don't know if she walked in on individuals inside of her property. We don't know if individuals forced her inside her property," he said.
Jeff Moran, a spokesman for the city medical examiner's office, said a post-mortem was being conducted. The official cause of death has not been determined but Capt Clark said Ms Ketunuti appeared to have died from strangulation.
Ms Ketunuti was a second-year infectious diseases fellow and researcher at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). She had been at the hospital for five years, having first served as a paediatric resident.
"Melissa was a warm, caring, earnest, bright young woman with her whole future ahead of her," said Dr Paul Offit, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases.
"But more than that, she was admired, respected and loved by those with whom she worked here at CHOP."
Ms Ketunuti's body, so badly burned that she was unrecognisable, was discovered by her dog walker.
A preliminary investigation did not turn up anything missing from the home and it did not appear the victim was sexually assaulted, Capt Clark said. He said Ms Ketunuti's boyfriend, who was not identified, is not considered a suspect.
Ms Ketunuti made several stops around town in the hours before her death and investigators are looking for surveillance video that may show her killer following her.
There is a $20,000 reward for information leading to the capture and conviction of anyone involved in the death.
"She dedicated her whole life to being a doctor and helping children with cancer," Capt Clark said. "It's very, very unfortunate that she died this way."
Ms Ketunuti kept a blog from March 2005 to October 2008 and wrote of her travels and studies in the US and abroad.
After earning a doctorate in medicine from Stanford University, she went to Botswana in 2005 on an Aids research fellowship and then completed a surgical internship at Georgetown University Hospital before moving to Philadelphia in May 2008 to begin a paediatrics residency.