Nearly a year ago, the body of a Frankford man washed up on the South Jersey side of the Delaware River.

The Burlington County Medical Examiner's Office ruled the death of Lamont Palmer, 39, of the 4100 block of Orchard Street, a homicide. But little else is known about the death of a man who police said rarely, if ever, left his Philadelphia neighborhood.

Today, investigators still don't know who killed Palmer and why, and are hoping that someone, possibly in Philadelphia, has the answers.

Palmer's mother, Linda Palmer, said she reported him missing in December 2006. Her son was a loving person, she said, and she knew of no enemies.

"He always had a smile. Whatever you asked him to do, he would do," Palmer said. "If he had a dollar and you needed it, he would give it to you."

He did, however, like to drink.

Palmer said her son's roommates called her around the time of his disappearance because he left after an argument and never returned. He had been drinking, she said she was told, and had left abruptly.

The roommates called police, but when authorities arrived, Palmer could not be found. Linda Palmer said the roommates urged her to file a missing persons report, which she did on Dec. 9, 2006.

"I figured someone may have hit him because he was an obnoxious drunk," said his roommate of seven years, Kayce Blackshear. "No matter what he did, he didn't deserve to die."

In late April, the New Jersey State Police Marine Unit found his body in the Delaware, near the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge and off the bank in Riverton. Police said the body could have been dumped in New Jersey or Pennsylvania.

Palmer used a shopping cart to collect and sell scrap metal in Frankford and Bridesburg. The shopping cart and two wallets he used to carry identification and money have never been found, his mother said.

He had no car and there is no evidence that he had any connection to South Jersey, police said. He often lived on the street or stayed at homeless shelters, and worked part-time delivering furniture in the city.

He was well known in the area and had been seen in the days after the argument, police said.

He likely was killed in Philadelphia, police said, but they have no evidence that points to a crime scene in either state. Anyone with information is being asked to call New Jersey state police investigators at 609-298-1171.

Contact staff writer Barbara Boyer at 215-854-2641 or bboyer@phillynews.com.