It has been three days since Candace “Candy” Holmes was found strangled to death near Wister Station in East Germantown.
While homicide detectives started distributing flyers seeking calls from anybody with information about a victim “known to frequent the area of Chelten and Beechwood” streets on Thursday, Holmes’ mother and sister still struggled for answers.
Grieving and fearful, neither wanted their names to appear publicly. There were no memorials set up outside their residence on the 6700 block of N. 17th St. in West Oak Lane.
Inside, the voice of a grieving mother was barely audible as she told NewsWorks that she learned of a then-unidentified woman being found dead in a lot off the 5100 block of Rufe St. from television news.
Those reports gave no indication that the victim was in her mid- to late-twenties, or that she lived two miles away from where her body was found clothed, but without shoes, and wrapped in a bed sheet.
Homicide investigators would later break the news to the Holmes family.
“She deserves more respect than she was given at her demise,” said the victim’s mother.
An upbeat final visit
Holmes, who has four children of her own, stopped by her mother’s West Oak Lane home on Friday.
She said she was excited to emerge from the depths of drug addiction, acknowledged mistakes she had made and spoke of plans to go back to school and pursue a cosmetology career.
Loving, caring, friendly, always smiling and easy-going were words they used to describe a woman known for her love of dance, writing and doing hair.
“You could hear her two blocks down the street because she was always singing,” said Holmes’ mother.
Added Holmes’ sister, “She was a go-getter. If she said she was going to do something, she made sure she did it and made good on her word.”
Before she left in high spirits, Holmes said that she would be back, and that she had made arrangements to go to rehab the following Tuesday.
An unknown killer ensured she would do neither.
A second child lost
Learning about Holmes’ death felt like a punishment to her mother, and not only because she was a “momma’s girl.” This is the second time she lost a child; her son was murdered at the age of 26.
Holmes’ mother noted that Facebook chatter focused on the addicitons of dead woman who was sentenced in 2009 to seven years probation after a guilty plea connected to an arson at a Roosevelt Boulevard motel.
“Everyone makes mistakes and only God can judge, not them,” she said. “I hope she finds the peace that she didn’t get in her life.”
The family is unsure why Holmes was found without shoes in Germantown since she was just given a new pair of flip flops during Friday’s visit. They hope the person who did this is caught in order to prevent this from happening to someone else’s loved one.
Funeral arrangements have not yet been made because Holmes did not have any insurance. She is survived by her mother, father, five siblings and four children.
Police asked anyone with information about Holmes’ murder to call the homicide unit at (215)686-3334/35 or the tipsline at (215) 686-8477.