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Young Lawyer Strangled Before Her Daughter’s 1st Birthday Party

Sun., May 4, 1997

She was a young lawyer with a growing family and a promising career, and had planned to celebrate her daughter’s first birthday this weekend.

Instead, loved ones and friends are mourning Stefanie Newman Rabinowitz, who was found strangled in the bathtub of her suburban home this week. She was 29.

“She was a wonderful person, good-natured, happy. She loved her job. Her daughter was a big part of her life,” said Mitchell Bach, partner at the downtown office where Rabinowitz first worked as an intern in 1991.

“I can’t imagine her without a smile on her face,” Bach said Saturday.

Rabinowitz’s husband, Craig, found her Tuesday evening in a water-filled tub in their house in Merion Station, a community in Philadelphia’s well-heeled Main Line suburbs, officials said. Their young daughter was home at the time.

An autopsy showed she was strangled. Police would not comment on whether there was evidence of sexual assault and would not discuss suspects.

“It’s too early to start talking about suspects. We’re still trying to find out what happened, who would have an opportunity to kill her and who would have a motive,” prosecutor Bruce L. Castor Jr. said Saturday.

Investigators had not determined whether Rabinowitz was slain in the tub in her two-story brick and stone house.Rabinowitz’s only child, daughter Haley Sarah, turned a year old this past week. Bach said the family had been planning a party for today.

“Her life revolved around her child,” he said.

Rabinowitz, a National Merit Scholar, earned her undergraduate degree from Bryn Mawr College in 1989 and a law degree from Temple University in 1992.

Tags: Death

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