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April 06, 2021

Body found in Southwest Philly identified as missing pregnant woman

Dianna Brice, 21, went missing on March 30; her boyfriend, 23-year-old Justin Smith, still has not been found

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Dianna Brice Dead @UDPolice/Twitter

The body of Dianna Brice (right) was found April 5 in Southwest Philadelphia. She and her boyfriend, 23-year-old Justin Smith (left), were reported missing out of Upper Darby on March 30. Police still have not found Smith.

A woman found dead in Southwest Philadelphia late Monday night has been identified as 21-year-old Dianna Brice, a pregnant mother who had been missing since last Tuesday.

Authorities found the body around 11 p.m. in a wooded area near 58th Street and Eastwick Avenue. The remains were later identified as Brice, a Philadelphia Police spokesperson confirmed. Brice was the mother of a four-year-old son and was 14 weeks pregnant with her second child.

Upper Darby police reported Brice missing last week along with 23-year-old Justin Smith, her boyfriend and father of the unborn baby, according to NBCThe couple had last been seen at a laundromat in Lansdowne, where Brice's mother, Betty Cellini, said an argument took place. 

Brice and Smith were planning to go to a pharmacy in Kensington to pick up medication for Brice, who reportedly suffers from a serious illness. Instead, Cellini told NBC that her daughter shared in a phone call that she had gone to Philadelphia, now requesting that she pick up her medicine for her.

Hours later, police found Smith's vehicle in flames near 59th and Florence streets, a little more than a mile from where Brice's body was recovered Monday night. Investigators said Smith and Brice were not with the car when witnesses reported the fire last Tuesday. Smith's cell phone and keys were found in the area of the vehicle, but he remains missing.

Brice's cell phone had been off since last Tuesday, police said.

Cellini had said Brice had not taken her medication in the days since she went missing.

The cause and circumstances surrounding Brice's death are not yet clear.

The investigation into Brice's death is being led by the Upper Darby Police Department.