The husband of a jogger found strangled in a Philadelphia park has been charged with her murder, police said, days after authorities warned female runners to take extra precautions until the killer was caught.
Police say Christopher Murray, 48, admitted to strangling his wife Connie McClain-Murray in Pennypack Park last Monday.
When Connie did not return from an evening walk, her husband reported her missing. Hours later, police say a neighbor walking her dogs found her behind a park bench. The death left the city on edge.
Lt. Philip Riehl, speaking at a press conference, said Murray was questioned early into the investigation and remained a suspect. He failed a lie detector test Saturday and later confessed, police said.
“We believe that he followed her and intercepted her somewhere along the pathway,” Riehl said.
Riehl said Murray has expressed remorse.
“I think it was more of a rage incident more than premeditated,” he said.
Murray spoke to the Philadelphia Daily News following the death, saying, “My wife was a beautiful woman – a loving, caring mother, a fabulous friend.”
Murray was denied bail, with a preliminary hearing scheduled for Aug. 27.
Family and friends held a memorial service Sunday for McClain-Murray, the mother of two girls.
Her brother addressed the situation in a statement, saying, “We are very saddened with the news of my sister’s murder. Now our main concern is my nieces Emily and Elizabeth at this time.”
Friends remember McClain-Murray’s personality and character.
“Mrs. Murray was an infectiously kind person who was definitely a leader in this club in this community,” family friend Gavin Goschinski said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.