Conflicting accounts are flying about how a five-months pregnant woman wound up dead in a blaze at a North Philly building owned by her alleged ex-boyfriend, who reportedly took his own life a day after the fire.
The Philadelphia Fire Department is investigating as “suspicious” the fire that occurred in North Philadelphia on Sunday, where the body of Tavonia Love, 35, was discovered.
Love was found dead inside a home on the 2100 block of West Susquehanna Avenue before 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, according to police.
While police said Thursday that Love’s death is not currently considered a homicide, the fire has been ruled suspicious, and Love’s family seems to believe she may have been murdered by a former lover.
According to NBC Philadelphia, the building in which Love’s body was discovered was owned by Dr. Anthony Eubanks, a Temple University School of Medicine graduate. According to a fundraising page that Eubanks had set up, he had intended to turn the building into Lives Matter Community Health, a medical clinic he planned to run.
NBC reported that on Monday, a day after the fire in which Love’s body was found, Eubanks’ body was discovered after he had committed suicide.
On Thursday, a spokesman for the Philadelphia Police would not discuss Eubanks’ death, saying the city’s medical examiner would need to make a ruling on whether Love’s death was indeed a homicide before any investigation would begin or any information could be released. The city’s medical examiner’s office did not immediately respond to calls asking about the deaths of the pair.
On Love’s Facebook page, friends and family members claimed that Love had been “taken to that home and murdered” by an ex-lover. A post claiming to be written by Kenneth Love, husband of the deceased, said that his wife died “due to the [senseless] violence of a man who could not take no for an answer.”
In fact, Love told NBC that his wife had only come to Philadelphia for a court hearing on assault charges that had stemmed from an incident in which Eubanks attacked Love.
In a story earlier this week, 6ABC cited court documents that show Eubanks was charged with assault after he “tried to strangle Love with a dog leash” at a home in Rosemont, Delaware County, in November of last year.
If this was a murder-suicide, as Love’s family seems to believe, law enforcement officials aren’t calling it that, yet. Currently, the fire marshal is investigating the cause of the suspicious fire, and police are waiting to hear from the medical examiner’s office to determine if Love’s death would be ruled a homicide.