The Murder of Dianna Brice

Dianna Brice

Dianna Brice, 21, of Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, was shot multiple times in the head before being burned in the trunk of a vehicle. She was 14 weeks pregnant with her second child at the time of her death. Justin Smith is still at large and is considered armed and dangerous. The FBI and law enforcement are seeking the public’s assistance in this case. The FBI is offering a reward up to $25,000 for information leading to Smith’s location and arrest.

What Happened to Dianna Brice?

On March 30, 2021, Dianna Brice was reported missing by her mother, Betty Cellini. She explained that the last Brice had been seen was at the K Laundry on Church Lane in Lansdowne. Brice had told her mother that Smith was taking her to pick up her prescription at the pharmacy, then they were going to drive into Philadelphia. After several hours, Cellini called Smith to ask about Brice’s whereabouts. Smith stated that he and Brice had an argument and she had walked away.

Hours later, Smith’s car was found engulfed in flames.

Justin Smith's car in flames Source: ABC 6

Brice’s father stated in a media interview “She calls him, and he was like, ‘Oh yea, me and her was arguing and she got out at 57th and Springfield.’ First of all, as a man, if that’s my lady and she’s pregnant, I’m not letting you out of the car. And if I do, I’m going to follow you and I’m going to call either your brother or sister or somebody to tell them to come and get you.”

The Investigation

After a week of searching for Dianna Brice, a homeless woman walking her dog found Brice’s body in between the tires of a trailer on Eastwick Avenue, on the west side of Philadelphia. She was found approximately one mile from Smith’s burned vehicle. 

Investigators concentrated their efforts in that specific area of the city. Through their canvassing efforts, investigators located surveillance video that recorded a woman named Tylydiah Garnett, who was a friend of Justin Smith’s. Surveillance recorded Garnett purchasing a can of gasoline before meeting up with Smith.

Tylydia Garnett

Investigators Theory

Investigators believe that shortly after Justin Smith picked up Dianna Brice, he shot her in the head multiple times in his vehicle. He then drove to a garage that he is known to be associated with. He called Garnett, who purchased a can of gas and met him at the garage. The pair loaded Dianna’s body into the trunk of a vehicle and drove it to Eastwick Avenue before setting it on fire. The next step was to drive Smith’s car to the area of Florence Avenue and 59th Street before setting it on fire, as well. Smith and Garnett fled the area.

Justin Smith

Further Investigation

Police arrested Garnett in Miami, Florida on April 10, 2021. She was charged with arson, criminal conspiracy, use of a communication facility, and abuse of a corpse. Despite a no bail request by Larry Krasner, the Philadelphia District Attorney, the judge granted her a $75,000 bail term; she posted the remaining mandatory 10%.

Justin Smith was officially charged on April 9, 2021. His charges are murder, first-degree murder of an unborn child, arson, and abuse of a corpse. He remains at large. According to the FBI, Smith has connections in Greensboro, North Carolina, New Castle, Delaware, and the Little Haiti neighborhood of Miami, Florida.

Investigators ask if you have information on the whereabouts of Justin Smith, to contact the FBI at or (215) 418-4000. The FBI press release can be found here.

One Comment

  • Samuel Poe

    If Smith carried out those killings, why? She was pregnant which will make matters worse if Smith is found guilty or pleads guilty!

    Brice was only 21. I know almost nothing about these homicides yet know they are not isolated crimes.

    When people are killed in that way, it’s usually done to get rid of evidence!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *