Philadelphia police arrested two suspects on Monday, Nov. 15 and charged them with the murder of West Chester University student Asia Adams.Simeon Bozic, 26, and Thomas Strode, 25, both of Philadelphia, were charged with murder, robbery, theft, arson, and related offenses, said police. Their preliminary hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.
After a night of questioning, police said both men confessed to Adams’ murder and to setting her mother’s apartment ablaze afterwards. They mentioned that information developed when one confession and name led to the other. A representative for the Philadelphia Police’s Public Affairs Offi ce said robbery was the motive for Bozic and Strode’s entrance into Adams’ home.
Adams, 21, a junior psychology major at WCU, was found dead in her mother’s Germantown home on Nov. 8 after police and fire fighters responded to a fire coming from the building’s second story. According to police and news reports, her body was beaten and naked below the waist.
An autopsy revealed the cause of Adams’ death was a laceration to the throat, said police. News reports say Adams knew both men and had been dating Strode.
Upon hearing of Adams’ death, the WCU campus was “shocked,” said university spokesperson Loretta MacAlpine. “There has been an upswelling of generosity,” said MacAlpine. “People within different divisions have been helping her mother, Ms. [Shelah] Harper.”
The university is also doing what it can to help. “Many students, faculty, and staff, and outside community members have asked whether anything was being done to create a memorial for Asia,” said Marguerite Gould, assistant dean for the College of Arts and Sciences.
Dr. Deborah Mahlstedt, a psychology professor, “has spoken with faculty, students, and Asia’s mother about creating a scholarship at WCU in memory of Asia,” said Gould. Donations are currently being accepted for the scholarship.