By Matt Petrillo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Tuesday marks 10 years since a Philadelphia teacher was found dead in her apartment. Her death was ruled a suicide. But today her family is pleading with investigators to reopen the case, saying new evidence suggests it’s a homicide. 

Ellen Greenberg’s parents say it has not gotten any easier in the decade since their daughter was found dead in her Manayunk apartment.

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Something else that hasn’t changed during all this time is the family’s belief that someone killed their daughter.

“We’re trying to get justice for Ellen,” Josh Greenberg said.

He and Sandra Greenberg, speaking exclusively with Eyewitness News say they would probably be grandparents if their only child, Ellen, was still alive today.

“She just spread the love and spread the joy and had great energy,” Sandra Greenberg said.

Back on Jan. 26, 2011, Ellen was a 27-year-old teacher when she was found dead inside her Manayunk apartment with 20 stab wounds to her body.

“I’d like to bring this to a conclusion as promptly as possible,” said Center City-based attorney Joe Podraza.

He is the Greenberg’s attorney and says the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office initially ruled the case a homicide but later changed it to suicide.

Last year, Eyewitness News was shown an exclusive look at images. At the time, the family’s attorney called it new forensic evidence which he said proves Ellen could not have stabbed herself 20 times.

“We now have the evidence to disprove that,” Podraza said.

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On Tuesday, the 10th anniversary of Ellen’s death, Podraza is revealing more new evidence he’s just obtained in the case. It’s evidence that contradicts investigators’ initial claim Ellen searched online for phrases like “methods of committing suicide.”

“We do have a forensic evaluation of the hard drive of Ellen’s computer and laptop which will definitively establish that she was not predisposed in searches towards death or suicide or things of that nature,” Podraza said.

Podraza says he sent that information to the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office Monday and now is urging the AG to reopen the case.

A spokesperson for the Attorney General told Eyewitness News in a statement Tuesday: “Our hearts go out to the Greenberg family on the anniversary of Ellen‘s traumatic death. At the urging of the family and following a conflict referral from the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office in 2018, our office reviewed the case and conducted an extensive investigation that did not uncover evidence to change the medical examiner’s finding of suicide. There is no statute of limitation on homicide, however, and if any new evidence is brought forward we believe it should be reviewed by the proper authorities. At this time, no such information has been shared with our office.”

The Greenberg’s attorney also says he plans to go to trial later this year with the city of Philadelphia to prove the death should be ruled a homicide instead of a suicide.

“Justice delayed is justice denied for the Greenberg’s. And they have suffered, they suffered over ten years seeking justice,” Podraza said.

Meantime, loved ones of Ellen recently gathered for a balloon release in her honor.

More than 27,000 people have signed a petition calling for the case to be reopened. There is also a Facebook page in Ellen’s honor called “Justice for Ellen.”


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