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Jason Smith of Levittown charged with murder of Philadelphia doctor

By 69 News & Associated Press, (follow: @69news), news@wfmz.com
Published On: Jan 30 2013 03:43:11 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 24 2013 01:17:15 PM CST
Jason Smith
PHILADELPHIA -

An exterminator has been charged with murder in the strangling death of a young Philadelphia doctor found bound and burned in her city row home.

Jason Smith was arrested Wednesday night at his home in Levittown, Bucks Co. He's charged in the killing Dr. Melissa Ketunuti, said Capt. James Clark, of the Philadelphia Police Dept.'s homicide unit.

"During the course of an intense and thorough investigation by the homicide unit, checking videos, talking to neighbors, following on several tips and leads that came into the homicide unit, we developed a suspect," Ketunuti said. 

Smith, police said, had an appointment at Ketunuti's home on Monday, the day she was killed. They said he strangled her with a rope after the two got in an argument.

Ketunuti, 35, was a second-year infectious-diseases fellow and researcher at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Her burning body was found in her basement with her ankles and wrists bound.

Smith, 36, has been charged with murder, abuse of a corpse and other counts.