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Exterminator charged with strangling Phila. doctor; police say something went 'terribly wrong'

  • A photograph of 36-year-old Jason Smith is displayed at a news conference Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013, in Philadelphia. Homicide unit Capt. James Clark says Smith, an exterminator, has been charged with strangling a young Philadelphia doctor found bound and burned in her city row home. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

    A photograph of 36-year-old Jason Smith is displayed at a news conference Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013, in Philadelphia. Homicide unit Capt. James Clark says Smith, an exterminator, has been charged with strangling a young Philadelphia doctor found bound and burned in her city row home. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)  (The Associated Press)

  • This undated photo provided by the Philadelphia Police Department shows Jason Smith. Philadelphia homicide unit Capt. James Clark said on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013, Smith, 36, an exterminator, has been charged with strangling 35-year-old Dr. Melissa Ketunuti, who was found bound and burned in her city row home on Monday. (AP Photo/Philadelphia Police Department)

    This undated photo provided by the Philadelphia Police Department shows Jason Smith. Philadelphia homicide unit Capt. James Clark said on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013, Smith, 36, an exterminator, has been charged with strangling 35-year-old Dr. Melissa Ketunuti, who was found bound and burned in her city row home on Monday. (AP Photo/Philadelphia Police Department)  (The Associated Press)

  • Homicide unit Capt. James Clark speaks during a news conference Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013, in Philadelphia. Clark says an exterminator, 36-year-old Jason Smith, has been charged with strangling a young Philadelphia doctor found bound and burned in her city row home. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

    Homicide unit Capt. James Clark speaks during a news conference Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013, in Philadelphia. Clark says an exterminator, 36-year-old Jason Smith, has been charged with strangling a young Philadelphia doctor found bound and burned in her city row home. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)  (The Associated Press)

The pediatrician ran some errands, then returned to her downtown Philadelphia rowhouse to meet with an exterminator about a rodent problem.

It was there, police say, that something went "terribly wrong."

Authorities say the exterminator got into an argument with Dr. Melissa Ketunuti, then strangled her, bound her body and set it ablaze in an apparent attempt to get rid of the evidence.

Thirty-six-year-old Jason Smith of Levittown is charged with murder, arson and other offenses. Authorities say he had no prior criminal history other than minor traffic offenses.