(NY DAILY NEWS) – A 14-year-old girl has been charged with murder in the brutal beating death of a well-known animal rescuer, who was found dead and bound to a bed inside his Northeast Philadelphia home earlier this week.
A neighbor discovered 59-year-old Albert Chernoff naked and tied up with severe wounds on his head Tuesday and phoned authorities shortly before 3 a.m., the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. A medic pronounced Chernoff, the president of Alley Cat Animal Rescue, dead on the scene.
Authorities believe he was killed with a blunt weapon in his Rhawnhurst home around 10:30 p.m. on Monday.
Surveillance video released by Philadelphia police on Wednesday — obtained from inside Chernoff’s home — appears to show a person walking around and later washing her hands in the kitchen. She also peers inside the refrigerator and freezer before she finally makes her exit.
The 14-year-old suspect was advised to surrender to authorities by her attorney and parents did so Thursday evening, Acting Police Commissioner Christine Coulter said.
Chernoff, who was also an Army veteran, cared for a number of animals in his home — including 11 cats, three turtles and two albino frogs. They are all being transported to different rescue shelters in the area.
Blake Martin of ACCT Philly, a local animal shelter, remembered Chernoff as a “really sweet guy.”