Exterminator Arrested for Strangling, Burning Doctor

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exterminatorPHILADELPHIA — An exterminator is charged in the murder of a doctor whose bound and burned body was found in her home.

Police say Jason Smith, 36, went to the home of Dr. Melissa Ketunuti on a service call, but the two got into some kind of argument.

“At her home they got into an argument. It went terribly wrong. He struck her, and knocked her to the ground,” Capt. James Clark says. “Immediately he jumped on top of her, started strangling her. She passed out, and then he set her body on fire.”

Clark said Smith burned the woman’s body “to hide evidence like DNA.” He said “at some point, he bound her up.”

The doctor was found with her hands and feet tied behind her back.

Ketunuti, 35, was fully clothed and police do not believe she was sexually assaulted.

The police said they used surveillance videos from nearby stores to identify Smith.

He is charged with  murder, arson, and abuse of a corpse.

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