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Woman Arrested In Connection With The Philadelphia Murder Of Dianna Brice, Whose Boyfriend Also Remains A Person Of Interest
Tylydiah Garnett was allegedly seen on video helping dispose of Dianna Brice's both, which was found in a wooded lot in Southwest Philadelphia earlier this month, police told local media.
A Pennsylvania woman was arrested over the weekend on an array of charges, including the abuse of a corpse, for her alleged connection to the murder of Dianna Brice, the pregnant mother whose body was discovered days after her boyfriend’s car was found engulfed in flames in Philadelphia.
Tylydiah Garnett, 21, was arrested by Philadelphia Police’s Homicide Fugitive Unit on Saturday in connection to Brice’s murder after she was allegedly seen on video helping dispose of the 21-year-old mother’s body, CBS2 reported.
Garnett has been charged with arson, criminal conspiracy, criminal use of communication facility, abuse of a corpse and other related offenses. Her bail, which was set at 10% of $75,000, according to court records, was posted on Sunday. She was released and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on April 26.
Attorney C. Reginald Johnson, who is representing Garnett, said that his client is an old acquaintance of Justin Smith, who was Garnett's boyfriend. Smith, who the police have not located, is considered a person of interest in the case.
"I’m going to vigorously defend her," Johnson told Oxygen.com on Monday. "They are trying to pressure her by way of an arrest to give up the whereabouts of Justin Smith. She has no clue where this guy is."
Upper Darby Township Police said in a statement on April 2 that Brice was last seen March 30 around 1 p.m. leaving the K Laundry in Lansdowne with Smith in his vehicle. Around 5:30 p.m., the 23-year-old's car was found engulfed in flames near 59th Street and Florence Avenue.
Brice’s body was found on April 5 in a wooded lot in Southwest Philadelphia near where the flaming vehicle was discovered. Her cause of death was multiple gunshot wounds to the head, an autopsy determined, according to CBS2. She was the mother of a 4-year-old son, her mother told the station.
Betty Cellini said that she and her daughter had been together at the laundromat the morning she disappeared and that she seemed distraught at the time. Around 1 p.m., Smith had arrived to collect Brice and pick up some medication, but she never returned home, Cellini said, adding that Smith had told her over the phone the two gotten into a fight and Brice had gotten out of his car.
Smith started to panic when she suggested calling the police to report her daughter missing, she said.
“He was like, ‘Oh my God, no, you better call me first,’ and I said, ‘What?’ and the phone went dead,” Cellini told the local station.
A short time later, Smith's car was found in flames.
Investigators told CBS2 that in addition to Smith’s torched 2018 black Ford Fusion, they are also looking at a rental car that they believe may have been involved in the dumping of Brice’s body. They have removed the trunk of the car to preserve any evidence or DNA that might be inside, according to CBS2.
A GoFundMe page has been in an effort to cover Brice’s funeral cost and to start a college fund for her son.
Anyone with information about the whereabouts of Smith is urged to contact the Upper Darby Police Department Detective Division at 610-734-7677.