A half-Thai doctor based in Philadelphia was assaulted and burned to death by an exterminator in an attack on Monday that started with an argument, US-based ABC News reported yesterday.
Paediatrician Melissa Ketunuti, 35, who worked at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia – said to be the largest and oldest children’s hospital in the world – was strangled and set on fire by an exterminator called Jason Smith.
Smith, 36, whose previous record only consisted of “minor traffic offences”, was arrested yesterday and will later officially face charges of murder, arson and abuse of a corpse, ABC quoted the Philadelphia police department as saying.
The attacker had reportedly been sent to the paediatrician’s home on a service call where the two got into “some kind of argument” in her basement on Monday.
“It went terribly wrong. He struck her, and knocked her to the ground,” Captain James Clark said. “Immediately he jumped on top of her, started strangling her. She passed out, and then he set her body on fire.”
The victim was fully clothed and police do not believe she was sexually assaulted.