PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia police are searching for the person who shot and killed a foster mother of three children inside her Mayfair home on Thursday night. Police say 25-year-old Lexus Jawanda Brice, of the 4100 block of Levick Street, was shot in the neck and killed.
Brice was found inside a second-floor bedroom, shortly before 7 p.m. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police say Brice had been dead between eight to nine hours by the time officers found her body. They believe she was shot between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Thursday.
Police say Brice’s mother had spoken with the victim earlier in the day Thursday, but grew concerned when she hadn’t heard from her daughter as the day progressed.
She called police who found the victim’s back door kicked in upon arrival. They then found Brice’s body in a second-floor bedroom.
Philadelphia Police Capt. Jason Smith said they are trying to figure out if the shooting death was a domestic situation or a home-invasion robbery.
“I don’t know whether she knew her attacker,” Smith said. “No suspects have been developed at this point.”
Smith says that Brice is the registered owner of two handguns that are unaccounted for. Whoever pulled the trigger, may have also left with more ammunition.
“There are a lot of different directions that this investigation could go in,” Smith said.
Smith says Brice’s three foster children, who are 13, 6 and 3 months old, are now in the care of child services.
Neighbors who saw the force of police and emergency vehicles are shocked to hear this happened right next door.
“It’s scary,” Maryanne Totten said. “From what they say, I think she knew him. It’s an isolated incident but it’s a shame. I feel bad for those children and the family.”
“My daughter, she was up half the night, she couldn’t even sleep. For it to happen across the street and, you know, it’s happening more frequently around here. It’s time to move,” Shauna Ward said.
Tina Cosby, Brice’s next-door neighbor, said the victim was a wonderful mother and person.
“I speak close with the neighbors, we all communicate with each other and there’s nothing to indicate this was coming,” Cosby said.
Brice was a home health care worker and also a school bus driver for the Cheltenham School District.
No arrests have been made.
CBS3’s Dan Koob contributed to this report.