Police have identified a woman found dead yesterday in a Chester County creek.
According to District Attorney Tom Hogan, the woman was found dead in a pond, with her body tied to a cinderblock. The Chester County District Attorney’s Office announced today that the woman has been identified as 24-year-old Ryan Stevyn Benjamin of Pottstown, PA. Benjamin was employed as a pre-kindergarten teacher.
“This is a very active investigation,” said District Attorney Tom Hogan. “The victim was an outgoing and sociable young woman, with many friends in the West Chester area.”
When new resident Jason Rutter moved to his new home in rural East Coventry Township on Sunday, he had no idea what he would find on Memorial Day Monday just a block away.
"It was the water near the drain pipe,” said Rutter as he explained how he found the lifeless body of a woman in Pigeon Creek.
“It kind of hit me like it’s really happened to an area where me and my children just moved to,” said Rutter who moved here from Royersford with his wife and 3 daughters.
Police were called to the Pigeon Creek local fishing hole on Zieber Road around 11 a.m. Memorial Day when Rutters found the body. He called 911 and when investigators arrived they knew someone had placed the body in the water.
“Somebody feels down and they find the woman’s body is actually attached to a cinderblock,” said Chester County District Attorney Thomas Hogan. Hogan says someone dumped the woman’s body between 3 p.m. Sunday and 11 a.m. Monday.
He also says the victim, an African American woman had no gunshot wounds, no signs of strangulation or blunt force trauma. According to Hogan, an autopsy revealed the woman had no water in her lungs which means “she was dead before she got there.”
On Tuesday night, flowers marked the spot near Pigeon Creek as nearby residents walked by asking the same questions.
“She was thrown away like she was a piece of trash. You cannot people treat like that,” said Hogan.
If you know the any information or had contact with Benjamin over Memorial Day Weekend, please contact Chester County detective Tom Goggin at 610-344-6866.