A jogger in Fairmount Park last week found a man dressed in female clothing whom police say was murdered.
Police identified the victim as 36-year-old Jermaine Scott, who lived on the 3100 block of West Norris Street in North Philadelphia.
The jogger contacted police at about 6:15 a.m. July 1 after seeing the body near a trail at Ford Road and Chamounix Drive.
Homicide Division Detective Timothy Scally said Scott had been shot once in the neck.
Scott was dressed in a pink sweatsuit, a pink hat, a bra stuffed with socks and a blond wig.
The victim had a lengthy police record, having been arrested 19 times for such charges as solicitation and assault, according to court records. Scott also was arrested for murder in 1988, but the charges were dismissed.
Scally said that while police have not determined a motive in the killing, he “absolutely” believes Scott’s history of prostitution may have played a role in the murder.
“The place he was found is sort of a lover’s-lane area,” Scally said. “We found several empty condom wrappers around the area.”
Police combed the area with metal detectors but did not find any shell casings. Scally said the perpetrator could have either picked up the casing if the murder took place in the park or, more likely, murdered Scott in a car and then dumped him at the location.
Police on the scene said the body was still warm when they arrived.
“Right now we’re just relying on experience with this, but we think most likely it happened in a car,” Scally said. “But with no witnesses, we could use all the help we could get if anyone knows anything.”
The detective said police have no suspects but are looking into the possibility that either friends of Scott or a “john” had picked him up in a car from North Philadelphia before the murder.
Scally said that further into the investigation, police would be open to looking into the possibility that the murder was a hate crime, but current details of the crime indicate otherwise.
“That would go to motive, but usually if it’s a hate crime, he would have been shot more than once. If it’s that type of crime, there’s a lot of anger or emotion and the person may be shot several times in several certain spots, but this looks like some type of surprise or panic.”