She was supposed to be at work just like she had done for many years. Markia Benson’s mother had just heard from her via text in the early morning of March 30, 2016. Nothing suggested Benson’s life was in danger nor in any distress. However, later that afternoon, a swarm of police cars descended on the New Orleans Park apartment complex along the 900 Block of South Avenue. Rattled residents of the sleepy town of Upper Darby Township in Pennsylvania were shocked as they watched the unprecedented chaos ensue.
Unsolved Mysteries: The Sadistic Murder Of Markia Benson
Upon Upper Darby Police’s arrival, Benson’s body was found naked in her bathtub with extensive scald burns under a running shower with boiling water. The gruesome scene had been in a state of disarray, with furniture toppled and papers scattered across the apartment floor. In addition, a hateful and derogatory message used to describe a woman was written with red lipstick on her wall three times. Still, authorities remain mute on the exact message left behind.
Authorities described the murder scene as sadistic and extremely violent. Based on the lack of evidence of a forced entry and the apartment locked from the outside, investigators believe the killer must have known Benson, up close and personal.
The discovery was due to a 911 call made to the police after her former boyfriend and a co-worker performed a welfare check on the victim at the apartment. They had gained entrance into the residence with the help of the complex’s manager. It had been out of character for Benson not to show up at work. An autopsy report established the victim was killed at around 9:30 am, and the cause of death was blunt and sharp force injuries to her neck and head.
Investigators believe Benson was killed while getting ready to go to work. The blood on her pillow and mattress indicated she was assaulted and killed in the bedroom and later dragged to the bathroom. In addition, Benson’s passport was deliberately destroyed, the apartment’s wall was covered with blood splatter, and the floor was covered in feces.
"I've been doing this a long time. If I say to you, I've seen 500 dead bodies in my life. You can look at a scene and you can tell the violence associated with the scene. This was a very, very violent scene," said Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood, according to ABC 7 News.
The boyfriend at the time of the murder had an airtight alibi and was ruled out as a suspect. However, authorities zeroed in on another former boyfriend whom the victim dated from 2009 to 2013 as a person of interest and brought him in for questioning. Family members told investigators he had abused Benson physically and emotionally in the past. Hence, the reason she broke off the relationship. However, the duo had reportedly started communicating again recently.
No Smoking Gun
Though the former boyfriend had no alibi for several hours till 9:30 am on the day of the murder, investigators were unable to find incriminating evidence that would tie him to the homicide. During his interview, he told investigators he had previously argued with Benson over the phone. Then, they had agreed to meet to hang out the day before the incident. However, he sent Benson a text to cancel the date because he was tied up. Since then, investigators discovered no activity on the suspect’s phone until after Benson was killed.
According to investigators, the suspect called Benson four times after her demise, leaving angry messages and asking the victim questions such as why she was not answering the phone and avoiding him, reported Reddit. However, authorities believe the calls were placed on staging a ruse to deflect any suspicion from him as the perpetrator.
Nevertheless, there was no smoking gun, and as a result, no arrest has been made to date.
If you have any information about this case, please contact the Upper Darby Police Department at (610) 734-7693 and be eligible for a cash reward of $5,000.
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