Beanie Sigel's relatives have told reporters in Philadelphia that burned remains discovered in an alleyway in the city's Mount Airy neighborhood Tuesday morning were that of Sigel's 46-year-old stepfather, Samuel Derry.
According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Derry was shot to death — hit twice in the stomach — before his body was set on fire. Philadelphia police would not confirm Derry's death Wednesday (October 5), saying the results of an autopsy performed by the city's medical examiner's office on the remains had not been finalized yet.
Sigel's attorney, Fortunato Perri Jr., confirmed Wednesday that Derry's body was the one found Tuesday morning, and added that identifying the remains proved problematic as they'd been mutilated by the fire. Sigel, he said, is "doing terribly" and his entire family is "saddened by what's happened. It's just a horrible situation." On Tuesday night, Dawanda Grant, who was identified as Derry's stepdaughter, told local ABC News affiliate WPVI that "a lot of personal effects that are leading to Sam Derry" were found with the body. She added that police haven't confirmed Derry's death for his family, but that she and others have been "in contact with detectives."
According to the AP, Sigel chastised television news crews for "bringing cameras" to his mother's home Tuesday night and for seeking comment from members of his family.
Derry's body was found at approximately 4 a.m.; several neighborhood residents told the Inquirer they were shaken by the brutal scene, but none reported hearing screams or gunshots. One resident, Denise Calhoun, told the paper she'd heard "something go 'whoosh' " before seeing the alley fire. She said she saw two men "pull something out of their van, and I thought it was trash. Then I saw the body on fire. He must have been dead already, because he didn't react."
Reports of Derry's homicide come more than a week after Sigel's acquittal on attempted-murder charges (see "Beanie Sigel Acquitted In Attempted-Murder Trial"). According to the Inquirer, Derry and Sigel's mother, Michelle Brown-Derry, were married in June 2004.
Police sources wouldn't speculate on a motive for the crime.
Def Jam President/CEO Jay-Z, Island Def Jam head L.A. Reid and Island Records President Steve Bartels issued a joint statement Wednesday afternoon about Derry's killing. "We are shocked and saddened by this horrible tragedy," it reads. "Our thoughts, prayers and deepest condolences are with [Beanie Sigel], his mother, Michelle Brown-Derry, and their wonderful family. We ask that the public, and especially the media, respect the privacy of the family during this time of mourning."