Man found dead in river killed pregnant woman

Saturday, August 16, 2003

PHILADELPHIA -- Days after a pregnant woman was found naked, strangled and coated in peanut butter, police blamed her death on a man who later committed suicide by jumping into the Schuylkill River.

Police said Friday that Linwood Burley, 35, killed the woman in a drug-related dispute. They believe Burley may have covered Susan Brennan's body with peanut butter to attract rodents to gnaw away at the evidence.

Brennan, 35, who was seven months pregnant with her third child, had an addiction problem, police said.

Her body was found Monday with rope around her neck and electrical wire around her hands and feet in an isolated lot. Estranged from her husband for some time, she had last been seen by her current partner a day earlier. Investigators said she told her family that she was going shopping.

Police already had ruled out the two men as suspects when they got a tip about Burley.

His body was found in the river Thursday, and authorities later turned up a note in his sister's home in which he admitted to the killing. Investigators also found a pillow case that matched a sheet from the crime scene.

Burley, distraught, was riding in a car with a relative Tuesday when they began to cross a bridge over the Schuylkill.

"At some point he asked him to stop the car," Philadelphia Police Capt. Richard Ross said. "They stopped the vehicle and he just got out and jumped in the river."

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