16-year-old Jacob Merritt-Richburg missing from North Philadelphia

Police are asking for the public's help locating a teenager reported missing from North Philadelphia.

Jacob Merritt-Richburg, 16, was reported missing by his foster mother. He was last seen leaving his home on the 1800 block of Vineyard Street around 9 p.m. Jan. 6.

Police described Merritt-Richburg as 5-foot-9 and 145 pounds. He was last seen wearing a dark blue puffy coat, maroon Nike sneakers and black sweatpants.

Police believe the murder of 64-year-old Renee Gilyard in East Germantown may be connected to the search for missing 16-year-old Jacob Merritt-Richburg.

Authorities believe Merritt-Richburg is an acquaintance of missing 20-year-old Jimmy Mao. Police said Merritt-Richburg may be in possession of property belonging to Mao, but did not disclose further details.

On Jan. 7, Mao’s family reportedly received texts demanding ransom for his return.

Police say 20-year-old Jimmy Mao has been missing since Dec. 29.

Police believe the murder of a woman in East Germantown may be connected to the search for Merritt-Richburg and Mao.

Around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, officers responded to the 300 block of Mechanic Street, where they found 64-year-old Renee Gilyard covered in blood and suffering from two stab wounds to the neck.


Officials identified the victim's 17-year-old foster son as a person of interest in her murder. The teen was in Gilyard's care for approximately three days.

According to police, the last person to see Mao was Gilyard’s 17-year-old foster son.

Authorities are continuing the search for both Mao and Merritt-Richburg. Anyone with information is urged to contact police.

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