A missing Philadelphia woman, Nicole Danielle Murray, has been found dead in the Poconos, according to a private detective hired by the family and social-media reports.
Murray, 24, was last seen in Philadelphia's Kensington neighborhood in late December and was reported missing in January not long after New Year's; she told friends she had left for the Poconos.
Pocono Mountain Regional Police Chief Chris Wagner was quoted in local media saying Murray's remains were discovered Friday on a piece of property on Foliage Drive in Blakeslee, Tunkhannock Township, in Monroe County. The mobile home on the lot was abandoned. The death is considered suspicious, and an autopsy is scheduled for Monday. Investigators did not say who found the body.
On a Facebook group titled "Bring Home Nicole Murray," set up to keep tabs on the search, Murray's family wrote on Saturday: "We are heartbroken to confirm that the body found in the Poconos is our beautiful, kind sweet Nicole. We want to thank everyone for all your kind words and prayers during these difficult last few months. We also like to thank the Poconos Detectives, Philadelphia Police Department and the PA State Police for their dedication and perseverance to bringing Nicole home. Though we only held Nicole in our arms for a short while we will hold in our hearts forever."
A tip from local residents led to the location of the body, said Kevin Ryan, a private investigator working on behalf of the family.
"It's unfortunate she was found deceased; however, the investigation into her suspicious death will remain with Monroe County, where they located her body, and we will assist in any way we can," said Philadelphia Police Department Officer Tanya Little, who confirmed the discovery.
Murray's friends and family posted on the Facebook page regularly over the last several months.
"On January 7th, Bob used Murray's cell phone to call her mother to tell her that Murray left the Poconos on foot on the night of January 3rd, leaving behind not only her cell phone but all of her belongings," according to a GoFundMe account set up by Murray's friends. "Murray was last heard from on January 3rd when she asked a friend to pick her up from the Poconos."