Detectives looking into the murder of a 21-year-old pregnant woman found shot to death nearly a week after she disappeared are now considering whether two people may have been involved.
CBS Philly also reported that a source close to the investigation said that Dianna Brice was shot multiple times, her body dumped into a wooded lot in southwest Philadelphia, where it was found Monday.
Early Wednesday, police named Brice’s boyfriend, Justin Smith, a person of interest in the case, as CrimeOnline reported. Smith hasn’t been seen or heard from since Brice’s mother spoke with him on March 30 while looking for her daughter.
Betty Cellini said that Smith told her he and Brice got into an argument the day she vanished and she left, but said he knew nothing about her whereabouts. When Cellini said she planned to file a missing person report, she said, Smith reportedly became angry and hung up. He’s not answered his phone since.
Police earlier confirmed that Brice had been shot, but the cause of death has not been released.
Brice and Cellini went to a laundry in Lansdowne on March 30, Cellini said, and Smith arrived to pick her up at about 11:30 a.m. to take her to pick up her prescriptions. Cellini said her daughter was upset before she left but wouldn’t say why.
At 1:30, Cellini called Brice to say she’d finished the laundry and was ready to head home. Brice told her she hadn’t made it to the pharmacy yet and would meet her at home. That was the last time anyone heard from her. Later in the afternoon, Cellini said she called Smith.
Late that afternoon, Smith’s car was found in flames in southwest Philadelphia — a little over a mile from where Brice’s body was found on Monday.
“It’s just tragic. It speaks to the senseless violence that occurs every day out there,” Upper Darby Police Superintendent Timothy Bernhardt said. “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 his mother again and her family will never see her daughter again. It’s tragic.”
While Smith is still a person of interest in the case, a source told CBS Philly that another person may have been involved in some way. Police have not yet commented on that report.
CBS Philly also spoke with Smith’s father, who told the station he has not heard from his son either.
This is a developing story. CrimeOnline will provide further updates when more information is available.
For the latest true crime and justice news, subscribe to the ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ podcast. Listen to the latest episode:
[Featured image: Dianna Brice/Facebook]