Teacher’s death at Venice Lofts deemed ‘suspicious’


The death of a 26-year-old first grade teacher found in her Manayunk condominium with a fatal stab wound Wednesday night is now being treated by the Philadelphia police as “suspicious.”

Police today backed away from earlier statements that the death of Ellen Rae Greenberg was a “homicide.”

 Greenberg was found with a stab wound to the chest inside her condo at Venice Lofts on Flat Rock Road, just off of Main Street.

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She was one of the founding teachers of Juniata Park Academy on East Hunting Park Avenue in Philadelphia and had spent the last four years there. 

The stabbing was initially believed to be self-inflicted but police this morning said it is being investigated as “suspicious.”

A police detective last night said the case had been ruled a homicide,” but a news release Saturday morning was explicit that that determination has not yet been made.

Greenberg’s body was found at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday night inside her apartment.  Police have not speculated on a suspect or a motive. 

Philadelphia School District spokesman Fernando Gallard said the School District community is “deeply saddened” by Greenberg’s death.

“Colleagues describe Ellen as a dedicated teacher who loved her profession and inspired her students to do their best,” Gallard said. 

Greenberg’s parents would often travel from Harrisburg to work with the students in her classroom which showed her “complete and unconditional” dedication to the school. 

As of Friday morning, Greenberg’s neighbors were still unaware of the incident.

Tejinder Gill, who lives at Venice Lofts with his wife and 22-month-old son, says he was shocked to hear the news.

“We actually moved from Center City because Manayunk was rated one of the safest neighborhoods,” Gill said. “We’ve gone out to dinner, had friends over, never had any problems, so I’m really surprised.”

Another resident, Behnam, who preferred not to give his last name, said he was, “shocked, surprised and a little bit disappointed” for not being informed about the incident.

“It’s concerning if there is a security concern,” he added. “Especially in luxury condos, you pay for it and you would hope it would be posted and residents would be notified.”

A call to the manager at Venice Lofts has not yet been returned.

NewsWorks will follow this story and post updates as they become available.

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