The body of 64-year-old Renée Gilyard was discovered in a bathtub inside her Germantown home on the 300 block of Mechanic Street shortly after 1 a.m. Wednesday. Gilyard's family members had come to her home to check on her and found her dead in her bathtub.
Gilyard had suffered several stab wounds, some of them defensive, on her body. The family noted that the contents of her purse had been emptied and her SUV was missing from the home. Just after 11 a.m., Gilyard's SUV was recovered by police after it crashed into a truck and caught fire on the 4300 block of Sansom Street in West Philadelphia. Inside the SUV were four teens, one of them was Gilyard's newly appointed foster son.
The police believe that her 17-year-old foster son was the last person to see her alive but still have not charged the boy with any crime.
Oddly enough, the 17-year-old is also suspected to be connected to a body that was found not too far from Gilyard's home.
"During a late Wednesday morning press conference, police said the teen may be connected to two young men who were reported missing in the past few weeks.
Twenty-year-old Jimmy Mao of the 5800 block of Angora Terrace was last seen on December 29. Police said Mao's family has been receiving ransom texts since his disappearance. Sources tell Action News the suspect in Gilyard's death once lived in the same foster home as Mao. Seventeen-year-old Jacob Merritt-Richburg of the 1800 block of Vineyard Street, who police said is an acquaintance of Jimmy Mao, has also been reported missing.
Action News spoke to his mother, Gloria Richburg, who said she last saw Jacob on Monday. Gloria Richburg said her son had a new cellphone, but he couldn't explain where he got it. She's asking him to turn himself in or come home. "Go to them. Tell the truth. When you tell the truth you won't be stuck with nothing. Tell the whole truth," Gloria Richburg said."
Just yesterday Philadelphia authorities got a tip that led them to the corner of the 5800 block of Angora Terrace in Southwest Philadelphia - the same block where Jimmy Mao was last seen living with his foster family.
They found the body of an "Asian teen with tattoos" stuffed into a duffel bag. They believe, based on the tattoos that they know who the victim is but are not releasing the victims identity.
Jimmy Mao's sister spoke with investigators at police headquarters Wednesday night. She said her family was asked to go to the medical examiner's office in the morning. Anyone with any information is asked to call police at 215-686-TIPS.