UPDATE: Death Investigation at 170 Parker Hill Avenue

Boston Police Identify Homicide VictimWitness Observes ‘Black Van’ Leaving the Area On Tuesday May 20, 2008 at approximately 6:50am, officers from the Boston Police Department received a radio call for a found body at 170 Parker Hill Avenue, located in the Mission Hill neighborhood. Upon arrival, officers observed a deceased female lying on the floor inside the residence. The victim has been identified as twenty-two year old Rebecca Payne of New Milford, Connecticut. Boston Police homicide detectives are actively investigating the facts and circumstances surrounding this incident. The preliminary investigation has determined that there are no obvious signs of forced entry. Several witnesses have reported hearing multiple gunshots between 2:00am- 3:00am, although the police were not contacted at that time. One witness observed a black van leaving the area. A preliminary autopsy report has confirmed that Ms. Payne suffered multiple gunshot wounds. Boston Police Superintendent Bruce Holloway stated, “Investigators have not yet determined whether or not Rebecca knew her assailant. Detectives will continue to follow the evidence wherever it takes us and are actively pursuing all information that comes forward.” Police have increased patrol presence to the neighborhood including placing additional walking beats. The CrimeStoppers Unit is out distributing the Anonymous Text-A-Tip brochure. The Neighborhood Crime Watch Unit is reaching out to local Crime Watch leaders reminding them to be vigilant and immediately report suspicious activity. Police have also reached out to local colleges and universities to distribute information urging students to be vigilant of their surroundings and take appropriate safety precautions. This tragic incident serves as a reminder to all that everyone is susceptible to potential acts of violence. As college students, it is imperative to possess an appropriate level of awareness in an effort to prevent oneself from being the victim of a crime. They include: • Possess an intimate awareness of your surroundings; • Never open your door to strangers and always keep your doors locked; • Avoid dimly lit areas; • Walk with confidence never giving the appearance of being lost or afraid; • Be sure to always secure your residence and your vehicle, never leaving valuable items in plain view; • Know your neighbors and never be afraid to call the police to report suspicious activity; • Avoid walking alone, especially at night. Walk with friends and people you know; • If you think someone is following you, switch direction or cross the street. Walk towards an open store, restaurant or residence; • Trust your instincts. If you are ever fearful dial 911. The incident on Parker Hill Avenue remains an active investigation and officers are seeking the assistance of the public and asking anyone who may have seen or heard anything suspicious to please come forward. Specifically if anyone witnessed a black van in the area of Parker Hill Avenue between 2:00am-3:00am, please contact the Homicide Unit at 617-343-4470. For individuals who wish to remain anonymous, the police urge you to call the CrimeStoppers Tip Line at 1-800-494-TIPS or text ‘TIP’ to CRIME (27463). The Boston Police Department will protect the identity of anonymous callers.