Cops have 'person of interest' in Olney rape case


Homicide detectives tonight are questioning a “person of interest” in connection with the rape and fatal beating of a 47-year-old woman in Olney last week, police said.

No criminal charges have been filed against the individual, whose name was not released, said police spokesman Lt. Frank Vanore.

Earlier this week, police officials asked for the public’s help in their search for the man who viciously beat and raped Eraina Merritt, 47, behind the Olney Steak and Beer Deli, on Broad Street at Olney Avenue, on March 24.

Merritt, a mother of four, died from her horrific injuries Monday at Albert Einstein Medical Center.

Police released surveillance footage of the rapist that was recorded inside the deli before the brutal attack. The suspect was described as black, between 18 and 22 years old, about 6 feet 1, with a heavy build and medium-brown complexion.

Update 1: Earlier today, authorities charged Sharod Graham, 21, of Callowhill Street near 60th in West Philadelphia, with Merritt's murder.

Update 2: Ted Silary, the Daily News' venerable high school sports columnist, reminded me that Graham was featured in the People Paper several years ago -- for helping to save a disabled woman from a burning building. Read that story here.