Authorities in Pennsylvania say two suspects have been arrested in connection to the brutal and tortuous death of 26-year-old Toy Charda Bryant of Chester, who was found shot, stabbed, and handcuffed in Fairmount Park over an $800 debt. According to NBC Philadelphia, a couple made a grim discovery while walking to work at approximately 8:30 a.m. Monday, June 14.
At about “10 feet from Georges Hill Drive near the Mann Center for the Performing Arts in West Philadelphia,” the body of a Pennsylvania woman was found lying face down on the ground with her hands “handcuffed in front of her body” in Fairmount Park.
The couple immediately notified Philadelphia police officials about a woman found dead, who was later identified as Bryant. Documents stated that she was stabbed multiple times in the back, shot in the back of the head, and handcuffed at another location before the killer dumped her body at Fairmount Park.
Reports also stated that a rubber glove was found shoved in Bryant’s throat as an attempt to torture the victim before her impending death.
However, homicide Capt. James Clark told reporters that it was later discovered that the Pennsylvania woman found dead in Fairmount Park had defense wounds on her hands and stated that he “believes she was in a fight for her life, and unfortunately she lost.”
Police officials say the motive behind Bryant’s brutal death remained a mystery until 39-year-old Shavon Armstrong of Wilkes Barre turned herself in to police headquarters Friday, June 17, confessing to the heinous crime. She was arrested and charged with “murder, criminal conspiracy, kidnapping, robbery and other related offenses.”
Another woman, Shintele Smith, 28, of Eastwick was also arrested in connection to the Fairmount Park murder and charged with “conspiracy, murder, kidnapping, and related offenses in Bryant’s slaying.”
According to CBS News, Armstrong and Smith were longtime friends of the victim, but their friendship came to an abrupt end when Bryant was unable to pay an $800 debt she reportedly owed to Armstrong.
The suspects allegedly kidnapped the woman and tortured her while driving to Philadelphia, stuffing a rubber glove in the victim’s mouth.
Police Capt. Clark stated that the victim was stabbed multiple times before the suspects forced her to get out of the vehicle and on her knees. Afterward, reports stated that Bryant was fatally shot in the back of the head and left in Fairmount Park, where she was later found by a couple walking to work.
“She took it from a debt to murder. It just makes absolutely no sense. I’ve seen a lot of brutal homicides. However, this is the most brutal murder that I’ve seen in my eight or nine years in homicide by a female on a female,” Clark said.
“Our homicide detectives pretty much worked around the clock following up on leads. It led them to Chester, and we started talking to people in Chester, and along with help from the Chester Police Department, we found out what happened.”
It was reported that Smith’s role in the Fairmount Park killing was that she helped drive the victim to the park. It was not immediately clear if she participated in the murder.
A memorial paying tribute to Toy Bryant, who was found shot, stabbed, and bound with handcuffs, by her community, leaving “I miss you” messages, and saying the Chester community will never forget her.
Bryant’s family and friends were stunned by her brutal and tortuous death, especially her brother, who asked to remain anonymous. He stated that his sister was well liked in the community “with lots of friends.”
He also added that he is still trying to make sense of it all. The victim’s brother was shaken by the fact that his sister’s friends were responsible for her murder, which began over an $800 debt.
The murder suspects, Shavon Armstrong and Shintele Smith, are currently in custody for the death of Toy Bryant.
[Image via Getty Images / Cheryl Gerber]