The body of a 21-year-old pregnant woman, who went missing nearly a week ago just hours before her boyfriend’s car was found engulfed in flames, was found Monday night in a wooded lot in Southwest Philadelphia, Upper Darby Police officials confirmed Tuesday.
Police identified the body as 21-year-old Dianna Brice.
Dianna, who was four-and-a-half months pregnant, was last seen on March 30, 2021, leaving the K Laundry laundromat in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, with her boyfriend, Justin Smith.
Dianna’s mother, Betty Cellini, told Dateline on Monday, that she spoke with Smith on the phone later that day and he said the couple had gotten into an argument which led to Dianna getting out of his car and walking away. He added that he tried to find her but was unable to.
Around 5:30 p.m. that same day, Smith’s car was located by police engulfed in flames in the area of 59th and Florence Streets in Southwest Philadelphia. Neither Dianna nor Smith had been seen since then.
Nearly a week later, on Monday evening, Dianna’s body was found about a mile away from where Smith’s car had been discovered. It is not clear what led police to the desolate area. The family’s private investigator Kevin Ryan told Dateline Dianna was identified by her tattoos.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Upper Darby Police Superintendent Timothy Bernhardt said the discovery of Dianna’s body is the result of round-the-clock work between multiple agencies to bring the family closure.
“It’s terrible,” Bernhardt said. “Words don’t express how sad it is for a young woman who leaves behind a 4-year-old child and was three to four months pregnant with her second. Words don’t describe how sad it is for her and her family.”
Dianna’s boyfriend Justin Smith remains missing and, at this time, is considered a person of interest, according to police.
Philadelphia Police have taken over the investigation, which is now a homicide.
Anyone with information that could help the case is urged to call the Upper Darby Police Department Detective Division at 610-734-7693 or 610-734-7677 or the family’s private investigator Kevin Ryan at 803-993-8477.