A paralegal found dead over the weekend in the bathtub of a lawyer with whom she worked may have aspirated water, and the prominent Philadelphia criminal attorney who was both her boyfriend and boss was out of town when Julia Law’s death occurred in his condo.
The paralegal found dead was discovered naked and face down in the bathtub of 58-year-old Charles Peruto, well known in his area of practice and often connected with mafia clients. Peruto was visiting Avalon, New Jersey for the weekend, and was not at home when Law’s naked body was discovered.
Law had a key to the condo, it has been reported, but little else is known about what led to the paralegal’s death. The 26-year-old was determined to have water in her lungs, but toxicology tests are pending and Peruto is being treated as a witness and not a suspect in her death.
After the weekend’s tragic discovery, Facebook messages attributed to Peruto were reported in the press as mournful over the loss of Law. CBS quotes the attorney as saying via the social network:
“I found my soulmate hippy, and can never replace her. We worked and played, and never got enough life … I’m grateful we made every minute count, without a single dispute about anything ever.”
ABCquotes Peruto in a statement he released, saying:
“Julia was a beautiful, caring free spirit hippy, who I was blessed to have known. Words can’t express how sad I am to finally have met someone who I believed truly loved me. You should all have someone touch your life, like she did mine. Pray for her. She was an angel.”
An associate at Peruto’s firm, Richard L. DeSipio, said the lawyer raced back from the Jersey Shore and was audibly distraught when he heard the news: “He was just devastated. He was just in hysterics … I was afraid he was going to get into an accident.”
Police say the paralegal found dead did not appear to be the victim of foul play, nor did they discover any immediate indicators of alcohol or drug use when Law was discovered in the condo.