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Pregnant Pennsylvania mother’s body dumped on debris pile ‘like she’s trash,’ says grieving father

Source: GoFundMe; Philadelphia Police Department

Apr. 22 2021, Updated 2:17 p.m. ET

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An expectant mother's body was recently found dead on a debris pile in Pennsylvania and police say they arrested a suspect in connection to her death.

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Philadelphia’s Homicide Fugitive Unit took Tylydia Garnett, 21, into custody on April 10 and charged her with arson, abuse of a corpse, criminal conspiracy, and use of communication facility, among other offenses, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. 

“Words don't express how sad it is for a young woman who leaves behind a 4-year-old child and was three to four months pregnant with her second,” Upper Darby Police Superintendent Timothy Bernhardt said about the victim, 21-year-old Dianna Brice.

On March 30, Brice told her mother, Betty Cellini, that she and her boyfriend, Justin Smith, 23, were going to pick up a medication she needed. When Cellini hadn’t heard from her daughter for several hours, she phoned Smith.

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“She calls him, and he was like, 'Oh yeah, me and her was arguing.' And she got out [in West Philadelphia],” Brice’s father, who asked not to be identified, told the television station WCAU. “First of all, as a man, if that's my lady and she pregnant, I'm not letting you out of the car. And if I do, I'm going to follow you and I'm going to call either your brother or sister or somebody to tell them to come and get you.”

When Cellini let Smith know she was going to report Brice missing, he allegedly became upset and hung up the phone, The Inquirer reported.

Early that evening, police discovered Smith’s Ford Fusion on fire and recovered his wallet and car keys at the scene. Six days later and about a mile away, police located Brice’s body in a wooded lot in Southwest Philadelphia. 

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An autopsy determined she died from multiple gunshot wounds to the head.

“But to dump my daughter out like this, like she's trash, that's where the problem comes in," Brice's father said. “This is a dumpsite. My daughter ain't trash.”

Police have not revealed what connection Garnett, the woman arrested, had with either the victim or Smith.

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Police consider Smith a person of interest in the case and continue to search for him. 

Kevin Ryan, a private investigator working with Brice’s family, theorized Smith “is being hidden right now,” Newsweek reported. 

Brice's friends and family created a GoFundMe page after her death. They asked for donations to help cover funeral costs and to help pay for college for her son. 

"We are devastated," the page read. "Thank you so much for everyone's love and support during this difficult time."


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