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Woman Strangled, Burned By Stalker Warned Coworker, Marked Her Killer, Leaving DNA

Calvin Lorenzo Purdie
Calvin Lorenzo Purdie Photo Credit: Dauphin County Prison Inmate List

A Hershey area woman was burned by her stalker after a struggle and strangulation according to police, now more details emerge as witnesses begin to testify in Dauphin County court.

Charlotte Y. Chaplin died at the age of 49 in her Paxtang home, on May 23, 2019.

A fire burned through Chaplin’s house in the 500 block of West Chocolate Avenue around 6:44 a.m. that Thursday, according to police.

By the time Hershey firefighters arrived the smoke was heavy and fire was consuming the house, but they were able to get into the residence and extinguish the fire only to find Chaplin’s body inside, police said.

At the time of the fire one of Chaplin’s adult children and their daughter were asleep and made it out alive, but they did not know what happened to Chaplin until police arrived.

Calvin Lorenzo Purdie, Jr., 33, turned himself into US Marshals after over a month long search for a suspect on Wednesday July 17, 2019, say police.

Purdie allegedly was at the scene of the fire and police saw scratches on his face and arms that were consistent with him being in a violent struggle, according to court documents.

Nearly two years later, more details about exactly what led up to the incident are coming out in court.

“She told me someone was following her,” Kojo Kodua, Chaplin’s former co-worker said in court on Tuesday according to PennLive.

Purdie was the boyfriend of Chaplin’s daughter and the father of her granddaughter at the time of the murder, according to District Attorney Fran Chardo.

The 49-year-old Chaplin didn’t like Purdie and didn’t want him in her house, Chardo said. He said Purdie had broken into Chaplin’s home several weeks before the slaying.

Purdie’s DNA was found under fingernails on Chaplin’s left hand during her autopsy, according to a coroner’s report.

First Assistant Public Defender Paul Muller suggests that someone other than Purdie, perhaps one of several ex-boyfriends, killed Chaplin, according to PennLive. An ex-boyfriend of Chaplin, Walter Gaines testified that he had an argument with her over text the evening before she was killed.

Purdie has been charged with numerous counts for murder and arson, not a stalking charge, according to court documents.

Chaplin is survived by her mother Belinda Gaines, her partner Kevin Martin Sr., her children; Kevin E. Martin Jr., Kenneth D. Martin, Shania C. Chaplin and Kyle Martin, her siblings; Sabrina Rock and Shanton Chaplin and 13 grandchildren, according to her obituary.

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