The Center City killing fo Shannon Schieber still baffles Phila. Police. For Philadelphia Police officers investigating the murder three weeks ago of first-year Wharton doctoral student Shannon Schieber, one of the hottest trails pointing to a potential killer ran cold last week -- in a drop of blood. Inspector Jerrold Kane said at the time of the homicide that a fellow Wharton doctoral student, Yuval Bar-Or -- against whom Schieber had recently filed a stalking complaint -- was the only substantive "lead" that detectives had uncovered. But preliminary DNA tests performed last week show that blood stains found in Schieber's apartment match neither her nor Bar-Or's blood, but that of a third party. More tests are presently being conducted. "It didn't clear him but it didn't put him in," Kane said of the findings. He added that while Bar-Or was a suspect "at the beginning" of the investigation, he is not one now. Schieber, 23, was killed May 7 in her apartment near 23rd and Spruce streets. She was found naked and lifeless on her bed, and though her apartment was ransacked, police do not believe robbery to be the motive. An autopsy conducted the next day concluded that she had been "manually" strangled to death. The day after the killing, detectives questioned Bar-Or for 12 hours before releasing him. Like most Israeli citizens, Bar-Or is a former soldier. He told police he was "at home sleeping" at the time of the murder. Schieber had filed a stalking complaint with the University Police Special Services Unit against Bar-Or. Her friends and colleagues said that Bar-Or had developed an obsession with her. One colleague who requested anonymity said Bar-Or sent Schieber harassing e-mails and once threatened her life. "She was visibly shaken whenever she talked about it," the colleague said. "People are afraid of him." Because the complaint was filed with the Penn Police, the Philadelphia Police -- whose jurisdiction includes the Center City area where Schieber lived -- were unaware of her situation. Bar-Or, who is studying finance at Wharton, lives in a high-rise apartment building at 2400 Chestnut Street shared by many other Penn graduate students. Security guards in the building refused to allow a Daily Pennsylvanian reporter to go up to his room and his phone number has recently been disconnected. Even with the new evidence that appears to rule out Bar-Or, police are still confident that this was not a random crime. "It's always a possibility," Kane said, "but we don't think so." Sylvester Schieber -- an economist working for the federal government -- was likewise dubious that his daughter did not know her killer. "As I work through it in my own mind, it's a little far-fetched," he said. "If I'm a cat burglar, I wouldn't jump up to a student's apartment. How would you know in the middle of the night who you might encounter?" Schieber also said that he did not believe that Bar-Or was responsible for the killing. "I never ever believed that he was ever guilty," he said. "I haven't imagined that [the police] would let him go without good cause. We have to be very careful about being irrational about these things." He added that as police "had some other candidates they thought were candidates also," it was likely that the killer was an acquaintance. "This is in some regards a real mystery," he said. "I'm not confident. I'm hopeful." Shannon Schieber, who grew up in the Washington, D.C., suburb of Chevy Chase, Md., was described by her friends and admirers as an energetic and friendly prodigy. A 1995 graduate of Duke University in North Carolina, she was one of four students studying insurance in Wharton's doctoral division.

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.