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February 11, 2022

Man allegedly killed woman, decapitated her with machete inside Clifton Heights apartment

Police say they could see Nicholas Scurria, 32, through a window dismembering the victim

Investigations Homcides
Clifton Heights Beheading Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

Nicholas Scurria, 32, allegedly dismembered his former girlfriend with a machete in Clifton Heights, Delaware County sometime early Friday morning. He has been arrested.

A man allegedly found dismembering a woman using a machete inside a Clifton Heights apartment early Friday morning was arrested by police.

At 4:41 a.m., police in Clifton Heights, which is about 3 1/2 miles from the Philadelphia line, were called to investigate reports of people fighting in a residence at the Willow Apartments, at 426 S. Springfield Road, according to criminal complaint provided by the Delaware County District Attorney's Office. 

CBS3 reported that police initially knocked on the front door but that no one answered.

One officer went around to the back of the apartment. From there, he could see through a window that a man was in the midst of dismembering a woman with a machete and reported that her body was already partially decapitated at that time, the complaint said.

Nicholas Scurria, 32, has been charged with first-degree murder, abusing a corpse and related offesnses. The identity of the woman has not been released.

Although the two lived together, Scurria described the victim as his ex-girlfriend to investigators. When he was taken into custody, he allegedly told officers that the woman had tried to cut off his testicles.

According to the complaint, Scurria admitted that he knocked the victim unconscious with several blows to the head and face and then tried to get rid of the evidence by dismembering parts of her body.

"This morning's horrific murder is a sad reminder of the threat that many women face on a daily basis," District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer said. "Based on the defendant's statements at the time of his arrest, in response to what the defendant perceived as a threat to his masculinity, he brutally killed -  and then dismembered - his victim. His actions were cowardly as well as evil, and he will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law."

This article will be updated as more information becomes available.