Slain Nutter neighbor a beating victim

Posted: November 09, 2010

Robert Lancaster, 76, who lives on the same Wynnefield block as Mayor Nutter, was beaten to death in his house last week, authorities said yesterday.

A relative found Lancaster dead in his second-floor bedroom with a pillow over his face Thursday morning.

Police initially said that Lancaster, who lived alone on 50th Street near Woodbine Avenue, had suffered trauma to the left side of his face.

A medical examiner determined Saturday that he had died of blunt-force trauma to the head. As of yesterday, police had no suspects and knew of no motive for the slaying.

Neighbors said last week that Lancaster appeared in good health and was visited often by family members.

Alonzo Hughes, who lives across the street from Lancaster's house, said the elderly man had some work done on his property last year.

Nutter, who has lived on the block for 16 years, said he was deeply saddened by Lancaster's death. "I knew him as a neighbor down the street," he said.

There were few reports of serious crimes in the general area in the last month. On Nov. 1, a home was burglarized on 52nd Street near Rexford Road, just five days after a residential robbery on 52nd Street near Church Road. No other burglaries or violent encounters were reported.

Anyone with information on Lancaster's slaying can contact the Homicide Unit at 215-686-3334 or -3335.

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