A Center City massage parlor where a woman was found dead Sunday night was about to be investigated for possible prostitution, a law enforcement official said yesterday.
Lt. Charles Green of the city's Vice Squad said there had been no enforcement actions at that location, but that officials were set to open an investigation after a recent complaint. Green said the city has been plagued with illegal brothels in recent years, including roughly 10 to 15 in Center City.
"The problem is, we’ve hit practically every one in Center City and they’ve reopened. It’s very frustrating," he said.
According to Greene, many brothel owners circumvent the order by putting the lease in someone else's name or violating the order altogether.
"The violation of a cease operations order is really a summary offense so it doesn’t hold any teeth. That’s the issue we’ve run into," he noted.
City property tax records did not list an owner for the building.
A Sansom Street business owner said he had complained before about what appeared to be prostitution activity.
"They never came out during the day time," said the man, who declined to give his name. "It's sad, one life lost."