Police seek tips in nun’s 2006 death

As the St. Mar­tin of Tours com­munity gathered last week for the Sis­ter Paul Mer­cedes IHM Schol­ar­ship bas­ket­ball fun­drais­ing tour­na­ment, po­lice of­fi­cials said they have good tips that could lead them to the in­di­vidu­al re­spons­ible for the nun’s Janu­ary 2006 hit-and-run death.

Sgt. Joseph Rossa, of the Ac­ci­dent In­vest­ig­a­tion Di­vi­sion, is ask­ing people to come for­ward with the in­form­a­tion that will close the case. Any­one with in­form­a­tion on the case can call AID at 215-685-3180.

The Cit­izens Crime Com­mis­sion of the Delaware Val­ley is of­fer­ing a $7,500 re­ward for in­form­a­tion lead­ing to the ar­rest and con­vic­tion of the driver. Call 215-546-TIPS (8477).

Sis­ter Paul Mer­cedes Per­reca entered the con­vent in 1963 soon after gradu­at­ing from St. Hubert High School. Among her as­sign­ments was at West Phil­adelphia’s Trans­fig­ur­a­tion of Our Lord, where she taught a sixth-grader named Mi­chael Nut­ter.

At the time of her death, Sis­ter Paul was head of the Im­macu­late Heart of Mary Edu­ca­tion Cen­ter at St. Mar­tin’s.

On Jan. 9, 2006, she was killed when a red pickup truck hit her as she crossed Cottman Av­en­ue at Hawthorne Street on her way to a morn­ing Mass at St. Mat­thew. The 61-year-old nun lived at St. Mar­tin’s con­vent, but spent many nights caring for her moth­er and step­fath­er in their May­fair home.

St. Mar­tin’s es­tab­lished a schol­ar­ship fund in her name to hon­or de­serving sev­enth-grade stu­dents and to as­sist their fam­il­ies in pay­ing their eighth-grade tu­ition.

The eighth an­nu­al bas­ket­ball tour­na­ment took place on April 25. Stu­dents played a series of three-on-three half-court games after school.

Money was raised by tour­na­ment entry fees, spec­tat­or ad­mis­sion and the sale of re­fresh­ments.

Any­one wish­ing to make a dona­tion can send it to St. Mar­tin of Tours School, Sis­ter Paul Mer­cedes IHM Schol­ar­ship, 5450 Roosevelt Blvd., Phil­adelphia, PA 19124. ••

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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