A teenage girl has been charged with murder in the death of a 60-year-old Northeast Philadelphia man found beaten in his home.
Al Chernoff was found dead in his bed early Tuesday morning in the Rhawnhurst section of the city, police said.
A 14-year-old turned herself in to police sometime Thursday as the homicide investigation was underway. Surveillance video showed the girl inside Chernoff's twin-style house on Algon Avenue, investigators said.
The teenage suspect was charged with murder, robbery, tampering with evidence and related counts early Saturday morning, according to court records. NBC10 is not naming the teen or showing her face until a determination is made to try her in adult or juvenile court.
Chernoff, an Army veteran well-known in the local animal care community, was beaten, slashed and partially tied up when police found him about 3 a.m. Tuesday, police said.
"It's extremely troubling. It was a very brutal murder," Acting Police Commissioner Christine Coulter said earlier in the week.
Chernoff had 11 cats, as well as pet turtles and frogs. Each of the animals were placed in a local rescue group.
"Al was literally like one of the best people I've ever met," Chernoff's friend, Angelo Ruffo, told NBC10. "Anything you needed he would do. He was known for building shelters for all the feral and stray cats in the city. He was a good man."
Chernoff's family said he talked about retiring from his job as a city worker at Philadelphia International Airport. Those who knew him remembered him as a giving and loving man.
"If you have interacted with a cat rescue or helped trap in Philadelphia, you've probably met him," Blake Martin of ACCT Philly told NBC10. "He was an old Army veteran who loved his motorcycles and loved his cats."