Cousin says body found in East Germantown lot was 31-year-old mother of five

A Philadelphia Police Department spokeswoman said Monday that investigators have yet to publicly identify the woman whose decomposed body was found wrapped in a blanket in a litter-strewn East Germantown lot.

However, a cousin of the victim told NewsWorks that the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s office notified the family that the body was that of Latasha Cherry, 31, who lived near 30th and Cumberland streets in Strawberry Mansion.

Family has questions

Cherry, a mother of five, was reported missing on Feb. 3 after an altercation at a bar in her neighborhood, said her cousin Tiffaney Hobbs.

Just after 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, officers called to the 5200 block of Magnolia St. discovered a body “wrapped in a blue blanket, tied with rope from head to toe,” according to police.

A witness told NewsWorks that she noticed a man acting suspiciously near the lot, which abuts a residential neighborhood, four days earlier.

“They told us an anonymous caller told police that her body was there,” Hobbs said Monday morning, noting that the family had plastered the neighborhood with missing-person fliers since Cherry went missing. “They said there was no foul play, but Tasha didn’t take her clothes off, wrap herself in a blanket or carpet and tie it around her.

“It’s almost like they treated her like she didn’t matter. We deserve to be able to find out what happened to her.”

A department spokeswoman said Monday that while the case is assigned to homicide investigators, an official cause of death had not yet been established.

Similar case

The gruesome discovery was made a quarter of a mile from where 27-year-old Candace Holmes was found fatally strangled, wrapped in a bed sheet and left in a vacant Rufe Street lot in May 2012. That case remains unsolved.

NewsWorks will bring you any updates as they become available.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal