Parolee arrested in November killing of Philly art student

Kierra Johnson

CBS Philly

PHILADELPHIA — The man who was arrested for the November murder of a Philadelphia art student was previously arrested in California on an attempted murder charge, reports CBS Philly.

Philadelphia police announced Thursday that David Grier, 22, is accused of killing 21-year-old Kierra Johnson last November.

Johnson was an honor student at Hussian School of Art. Her body was discovered by a jogger in the water under a bridge at Cobbs Creek Parkway and Spruce Streets on Nov. 3.

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David Grier

CBS Philly

Detectives say surveillance video from public transportation cameras placed the victim and suspect together the day before her murder, according to the station.

"They were acquaintances and we connected that through social media and common friends of both of them," said Philadelphia Police Homicide Capt. John Ryan.

Ryan also said that Grier was arrested in 2016 for attempted murder in Oakland, California. He is currently on parole for that charge.

A spokeswoman for Hussian College said in a statement last year that Johnson was a kind person and an excellent artist, who will be deeply missed.

"Talented, gentle, kind and always smiling Ki was not only a visual artist, but a performance artist as well. She will be deeply missed by all and it is a particularly difficult time for us as we are a small, close-knit community," the statement read.

Police reportedly believe robbery was the motive behind this homicide. Grier is facing a number of charges, including murder, robbery and related offenses.