Homicide or suicide? Medical examiner, cops clash

Last week police said that the Medical Examiner's Office had ruled the stabbing death of a Manayunk woman a homicide, but in a rare twist this weekend, police said that they have not ruled her death a homicide.

Police spokesman Lt. Ray Evers said that the Police Department is treating the death of Ellen Rae Greenberg as "a suspicious death," and that homicide investigators "may be leaning" toward suicide.

Greenberg, 27, a first-grade teacher at Juniata Park Academy, was found by her fiancé in their condo with numerous stab wounds to her upper body about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, police said.

It's rare that the Medical Examiner's Office and homicide investigators disagree on a manner of death, but Evers said that the investigation has revealed new facts, though he declined to elaborate.

"Very rarely do we have a case where it takes really, really sifting through the evidence to determine what you have," he said. "It doesn't happen a lot like this."

A spokesman for the Medical Examiner's Office is out on extended leave, and no one at the office or municipal radio yesterday had any information on who - if anyone - was to replace him in his absence. Thus, it was unknown if the office was reviewing its initial determination and if it had a response to the Police Department's findings.

Evers said that if the Medical Examiner's Office stands by its homicide ruling, despite the department's position, the two sides will have to meet.

"It will take both the Medical Examiner's Office and the homicide investigators to really work together and come to a mutually agreeable conclusion to this investigation," he said.