School: Strangled art student was 'talented, gentle, kind'

- Days after a jogger found a 21-year old woman dead in Cobbs Creek many questions remain. Police are looking for the killer who strangled her.

Those who knew Kierra Johnson describe her as high-achieving, talented artist, FOX 29's Jeff Cole reported from Southwest Philadelphia, where the young woman lived.

Police say they heard from Johnson's mother Thursday afternoon concerned her daughter hadn't returned home.

By Friday morning, a jogger alerted police to a body in the water at Cobbs Creek.

It was the young woman, known as "Ki,” who had been strangled to death.

"Right now we're working on tracking down her movements and isolating who she was last with, and that's still very much in progress at this point," said Captain John Ryan of the Philadelphia Police Department's Homicide Unit.

On Facebook, images of Kierra were posted and sorrow was expressed for her passing.

She was an honor and dean's list student at the Hussian School of Art on Spring Garden Street in the city. The school released a statement remembering her as "talented, gentle, kind and always smiling. Ki was not only a visual artist, but a performance artist as well.

Police say they have no suspects yet, and won't say much else.

"We don't know what happened here, so it's not a situation where she did something that led to this or put herself in jeopardy. We don't know," Ryan said.

On Facebook, it's written Johnson was on her way to South Street to meet a friend but never made it.

Near her home, there was shock and sadness.

Cole reported that police do not want to say about what they know about their investigation so far, adding that soon they'll be talking to people, and they don't want them to know what investigators do.

Johnson lived in an apartment off Lindbergh Boulevard in Southwest Philly, where two men were gathered Monday. They told us Johnson's mother, who she lived with, was not home, while neighbors say they knew Kierra to say "hi."

"I found out when I came to work," said apartment complex worker Robert Williams. "My co-workers showed me the same picture you just showed me. I said, 'Huh? That's a shame.'"

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