Death of Paralegal in Lawyer’s Tub Probed

May 29, 2013 9:08am

Authorities are hoping toxicology tests will give them clues into what killed a paralegal whose body was found in a condo owned by a prominent Philadelphia criminal attorney.

Investigators say a maintenance man found Julia Law naked and face down in a bathtub full of water Saturday around 10 a.m. Police say there were no signs of trauma or drugs found at the scene. An autopsy found water in Law’s lungs, ABC News station WPVI-TV reported Tuesday.

The condo was owned by Law’s boyfriend and boss, 58-year-old Charles Peruto, a prominent attorney known for his local mob clients. Peruto had given Law, his girlfriend of two months, a key to his apartment, investigators said.

Peruto told police he was in New Jersey Friday night into Saturday morning, overseeing construction on a new home, according to WPVI. While police have questioned Peruto as a witness, they say he’s not considered a suspect.

Police are waiting for results of more tests, which will ultimately give them a better idea to what killed Law.

Peruto released a statement earlier this week saying, “Julia was a beautiful, caring free spirit hippy, who I was blessed to have known. Words can’t express how sad I am to finally have met someone who I believed truly loved me. You should all have someone touch your life, like she did mine. Pray for her. She was an angel.”

Neighbors in the Center City neighborhood of Philadelphia are not rushing to judgment about the details surrounding Law’s death.

“This is not a crime, it’s a tragedy. Until someone tells me otherwise, there’s no proof of foul play or crime. It could be a million things,” neighbor Pamela McCarthy said.

Law would have turned 27 Tuesday.

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Image credit: Julia Papazian Law/Facebook

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