In January 2011, a young woman was found dead in her Philadelphia apartment.
The woman, 27-year-old Ellen Greenberg, had been stabbed 20 times in the chest, abdomen, head and neck. Half of the stab wounds were from behind; a couple of the injuries appeared to have been inflicted after the victim’s heart had stopped beating, according to Fox News.
Police said her body was discovered by her fiance in the kitchen of their apartment with a 10-inch knife lodged in her chest, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
Greenberg’s death was first declared a homicide but was later changed, without explanation, to suicide. Case closed.
The suicide ruling came about because the fiance, Sam Goldberg, told police he had broken down the door, which had been locked from the inside. “Greenberg had no defensive wounds to indicate she tried to fight off an attacker, and there were no signs of an intruder in the apartment,” the Inquirer reported.
Police also said only Greenberg’s DNA was found on the knife and on her clothes, according to People.
Greenberg’s family and friends never accepted the suicide ruling.
“When we found out that she had died by stabbing — there was no way,” Greenberg’s friend Erica Hamilton told Fox News.
“Had Ellen ever committed suicide, her using a knife would be the absolute last way that I would ever even consider her to do that,” Hamilton said. “If she wanted to kill herself, she had a whole bottle of pills she could have taken.”
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One decade and a lawsuit later, Greenberg’s loved ones are still fighting to have the suicide ruling reversed.
Now, more than 11 years after her death, it appears they are getting their wish: Ellen Greenberg’s case is getting another look.
The Pennsylvania attorney general’s office has referred the case back to the Chester County district attorney’s office, which assigned an investigator and prosecutor to review the case, People reported.
In a July statement, the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office explained there was an unspecified “appearance of a conflict” of interest, which led to the referral of the case back to the Chester County district attorney.
“We wish Ellen’s family nothing but the best and our office regrets that, despite our extensive work, our additional efforts have not brought more closure to the questions around her death,” the state attorney general’s statement said.
Ellen’s father, Josh Greenberg, told WLS-TV, “This has taken 11 years. We want justice for our daughter, and maybe this will bring justice for others too.”
Attorney Joe Podraza, who is representing the Greenberg family, told WLS, “I’m ecstatic. I think for the first time we might get an objective assessment of the case with somebody who will honestly look at it.”