Police release surveillance video of person sought in Rhawnhurst murder

Al Chernoff was known in the animal rescue community.

Philadelphia police released surveillance video of a person being sought in connection with the murder of a man in Rhawnhurst.

READ MORE: Man dies after being found tied to bed with massive head wound in Rhawnhurst, police say

Police say just before 3 a.m. Tuesday they went to the home on the 8400 block of Algon Avenue after a report about a man in distress inside. According to police, they found the victim partially tied to the bed with a massive head wound and several slashes to his chest. He died at the scene.

"He was a really sweet guy," said Blake Martin of ACCT Philly.

The tight-knit community of animal lovers and rescues in and around Philadelphia is devastated over the loss of 59-year-old Al Chernoff, who was the head of Alley Cat Rescue.

"If you have rescued animals, cats in particular in Philadelphia you've interacted with Al," he said.

Martin says it was Chernoff's willingness to help others that stood out. Martin says Chernoff taught them how to trap cats that needed help and assisted the group Catadelphia with community shelters.

"They were doing a winter shelter kind of building workshop where they built shelters for the community cats and he was there to cut holes in the different containers," Martin said.

The murder drew a lot of attention in what a neighbor says is a very quiet area.

 "I was just driving by and I had to stop and take a peek and it's still shocking to me," said Miriam Piatetsky.

Chernoff cared for a number of animals in his house. Animal Control removed 11 cats, three turtles and two albino frogs from the home, which were brought to ACCT Philly. Martin says they've all be placed with different rescues. FOX 29's Shawnette Wilson reports two cats were waiting to be picked up as of Tuesday night.

"As bad as today was we were able to do right by him and do right by his animals because that's the thing that he would care most about,” said Martin.

Police describe the suspect as having a thin build and short black hair. The person seen inside the home was wearing a black jacket, long sleeve pink top, red sweatpants, white athletic shoes and was carrying a black backpack.

A $20,000 reward is being offered in the case. The suspect is considered armed and dangerous.

Tips can be submitted by calling 215-686-TIPS (8477) or texting PPD TIP (773847). Tips can also be submitted anonymously online. All tips are confidential.