Dino Dizdarevic was scheduled to arrive in his native Kentucky May 1 but never boarded his plane.
His body was discovered early the next morning in an alley behind the 900 block of Packer Street in Chester. Police say he was partially clothed and had been beaten and strangled.
Several media outlets have reported authorities believe Dizdarevic met his killer through Grindr, a phone app frequently used by gay and bisexual men to meet other men.
Multiple calls to Chester Police to confirm this information were not returned by presstime. A suspect had not yet been publicly identified.
Police are in possession of Dizdarevic’s cell phone. His car was parked at his home, and it is unclear how he got to Chester.
Dizdarevic was originally from Bosnia. His family fled to Kentucky as war refugees in 1993.
He moved to Philadelphia last summer to take a job as a chemical engineer at the Stepan Company in New Jersey. Dizdarevic had been living in the Spring Garden section with his boyfriend of two years.
He had been scheduled for a trip home to meet up with family and friends for the Kentucky Derby. Close friend Drew Owen said Dizdarevic was looking forward to the trip.
“This was an important trip for him because he was coming back to see all of his old friends and his family,” he told PGN. “He didn’t really know anyone in the Philadelphia area.”
Owen met Dizdarevic in 2007 when they both attended University of Louisville. Dizdarevic is a 2011 graduate.
“We immediately became best friends and I had been right by his side ever since,” he said. “He just seemed to stick out. He was so smart and the kind of guy that would walk into a place and everyone would notice him. He would become friends with everyone and was the life of the party.”
Investigators have reportedly said Dizdarevic didn’t return home after a night out with friends. His family in Kentucky was contacted and a missing-person report was filed prior to the discovery of his body Friday.
Dizdarevic’s murder comes weeks after a Canadian tourist was allegedly raped, beaten and robbed after inviting a man he met on Grindr to his Center City hotel room. A suspect in that case, 26-year-old Douglas Spady, was identified but not yet apprehended.
On May 2, 34-year-old Daniel Simmons, the deputy attorney general of Delaware’s Department of Justice, was arrested and accused of raping a minor he met on Grindr.