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Philadelphia police cadaver dog honored for work during Limerick murder investigation

Patton, a cadaver dog, and Philadelphia police officers James Zimmerman and Brian Quirple receive praise from Montgomery County Prosecutor Kevin Steele for helping solve the Limerick murder case. (Photo courtesy of the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office)

PLYMOUTH – A cadaver dog pointed out that there were human remains inside and outside a Limerick township woman’s home and in two vehicles linked to the man suspected of killing her, offering “extremely important” evidence that helped convict her killer, according to The authorities.

This week, Patton and Philadelphia Police K-9 Officers James Zimmerman and Brian Quirple, Patton’s handler, received praise from Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele for their assistance that led to Blair’s conviction. Anthony Watts for the murder of Jennifer in January 2023. Brown, his partner in a restaurant, inside their home in Limerick.

“At trial, both Officer Zimmerman and Officer Quirple provided key testimony regarding the work of K-9 Patton. “His testimony, as well as the results of Patton’s alert to human remains, were extremely important to the trial and to the jury finding Watts guilty of first-degree murder,” Steele addressed a crowd gathered at the Training Campus in Montgomery County Public Safety. in Plymouth Township, where he placed a medal around Patton’s neck and presented commendations to Zimmerman and Quirple.

“Patton,” a Philadelphia police cadaver dog, helped Montgomery County detectives investigate the disappearance of Jennifer Brown. (Photo by Carl Hessler Jr/MediaNews Group)

Steele explained that Zimmerman, who trained both Quirple and Patton, testified about Patton’s training, alertness and other aspects related to the science of cadaver dogs. Quirple testified about searches related to the case.

Specifically, during Watts’ trial in December 2023, Quirple testified that Patton searched inside and outside Brown’s home in the 1400 block of Stratford Court on January 6, 2023, two days after she was reported missing.

During the search inside the home, Patton “pointed” in the kitchen area of ​​the home, Quirple testified.

“When we got to the kitchen he started giving me directions. She started barking…and sticking her nose into the base of the cabinets,” Quirple testified during the second day of Watts’ trial.

Patton also searched the exterior of the Stratford Court residence and indicated that there were human remains or human biological material in the area of ​​a covered structure that housed trash containers, according to testimony.

On January 8, Patton searched the interior of a red Jeep Cherokee vehicle linked to Watts.

“He gave directions to the rear driver’s side door… down on the floor, right behind the driver’s seat,” Quirple told the jury.

Detectives also seized a floor mat from a second vehicle Watts is known to have used, a gray 2018 Jeep Renegade. During a search on Feb. 2, Patton indicated the presence of human remains or human biological material on a mat taken from the area. from the rear seat of the vehicle.

At trial, First Assistant District Attorney Edward F. McCann Jr. and Co-Prosecutor Kelly S. Lloyd relied on the cadaver dog findings as evidence to link Watts to Brown’s murder.

“Due to the work of Officer Quirple and K-9 Patton, detectives knew almost immediately that Ms. Brown was dead,” Steele said.

Brown’s body was discovered by police shortly after 11 a.m. on Jan. 18, 2023, in a “freshly dug hole” in the back of a warehouse in the 200 block of North 5th Avenue in Royersford after the Police employees will alert them to the place. deposit.

An autopsy determined that Brown, a devoted 43-year-old single mother, suffered three broken ribs. The cause of death was attributed to “homicide by unspecified means,” with compression and asphyxiation, a mechanism that would explain the fractured ribs.

Blair Watts was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison for the death of Limerick, Pennsylvania mother Jennifer Brown.  (Courtesy of the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office)
Blair Watts was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison for the death of his mother, Jennifer Brown, in Limerick, Pennsylvania. (Courtesy of the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office)

Prosecutors argued at trial that Watts was a “broke narcissist” and failed businessman who killed Brown, who invested $22,600 in a proposed restaurant business with him, when he feared she would expose his lies about his businesses, specifically who used his investment money for his personal expenses.

On Dec. 13, 2023, a jury convicted Watts, 33, of the 600 block of Hunsberger Drive, Limerick, of first-degree murder, which is intentional murder, in connection with the Jan. 3 killing of Brown. 2023. Judge William R. Carpenter sentenced Watts to a mandatory life sentence.

The commendations presented to Patton and his supervisors were among honors presented to four civilians and more than three dozen law enforcement officers May 21 during Steele’s annual police commendations ceremony. Steele said commendations are given to those who make extraordinary efforts and do exemplary work to protect and serve the residents of Montgomery County.

“Montgomery County would not be the safe and wonderful place it is without this teamwork,” Steele said.

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