A woman charged earlier this year in the death of a teenager found dead in a basement in South Philadelphia now faces murder charges.As reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer, the body of 17-year-old Erin Schweikert was found wrapped in a plastic bag, decomposing inside a small storage container in January, in the basement of the home where Maddison Leidy, 26, lived.Leidy has now been charged with first-degree murder and drug delivery resulting in death, seven months after police found the teen’s badly decomposed body. A cause of death for the 17-year-old has not been disclosed.
She was originally arrested in January and charged with abuse of corpse, obstruction, among other crimes.Schweikert, who went missing on September 27, was last seen along Front Street after telling her family she was meeting up with some friends. The South Philly teenager was the mother of a toddler daughter.Erin Schweikert’s body was discovered when law enforcement officers went to Leidy’s home to arrest her on a probation violation, CBS News reports.
The 26-year-old woman was arrested and charged immediately after the South Philadelphia basement murder discovery, however detectives continued their investigation, digging through cell phone records and social media posts. Eventually, they found enough evidence to charge the woman with murder, according to law enforcement sources.The teen mother reportedly had both heroin and fentanyl in her system when she died.Police say there were no apparent signs of trauma on the young woman’s body, according to local ABC News affiliate KFSN-TV.
Investigators said after making the grisly discovery that they believed the South Philadelphia basement murder was tied to human trafficking after the city’s Special Victims Unit joined the sheriff’s office at the scene, working on a tip that a missing 18-year-old woman might be inside.
“Special Victims Unit was coming out here with our sheriffs to deal with an issue of human trafficking. They were looking for a missing female who was approximately 18 years old,” Philadelphia Sheriff Rochelle Bilal said in January.
Once on the scene, authorities found five people, three males and two females. Some lived at the home, according to Bilal. One of the females was Leidy, who was listed on the warrant for not appearing in court for a robbery charge.
Authorities then began to search the home and were met with a strong odor that was “impossible for anyone inside to ignore,” a police spokesperson said. Soon after, they discovered the body in a plastic bin in the basement.As per Patch, the South Philadelphia basement murder sent shockwaves through the entire community, who rallied to give Erin Schweikert a proper burial.
A GoFundMe campaign was launched to help give the teen mom a dignified farewell, raising more than $20,000 for funeral expenses.
“As you are all aware of the disappearance of Erin Schweikert, her mother Lisa combed the streets of Philly for her daughter for over 3 months, day and night, rain or shine,” the page reads.
“On, Friday January 17, 2020 her mother’s biggest fear came true and the body found was Erin’s.”