Media, PA- Delco DA Jack Stollsteimer today announced that charges have been filed against Benjamin Boykins, 34, of Philadelphia, for the November 2020 murder of Tanika Kirkpatrick, 43, of Lansdowne. Boykins has been charged with first-, second- and third- degree murder, criminal homicide, kidnapping, tampering with evidence, and abuse of corpse. After an investigation led by Sergeant James McCaughan of the Lansdowne Police Department and Detective Dan McFarland of the Criminal Investigation Division, the defendant was extradited from Michigan, and he has confessed to the murder.

“The victim, Tanika Kirkpatrick, knew that her ex-boyfriend was dangerous, and she did what she could to protect herself. Three days before her brutal murder, she obtained an emergency protection from abuse order against the defendant. But in the end, it was not enough to protect her from this defendant,” said District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer. He continued, “According to the CDC, one in three women experience some form of physical violence by an intimate partner. As heart breaking as it is that we could not protect this victim, we must continue to support the work of organizations such as the Domestic Abuse Project of Delaware County and Women Against Rape for the incredible work that they do to protect, support and defend our community against the scourge of intimate partner violence.”

On Tuesday, November 17, 2020, Lansdowne Police were requested to investigate a possible missing person. The victim’s boyfriend informed the officers that the defendant had recently assaulted the victim and had been harassing her. Upon arrival at the victim’s home in Lansdowne, the police observed a large stain of what appeared to be blood on the victim’s comforter, and detected an odor of bleach or other cleaning solvent in the bedroom. Officers spoke with the victim’s 19 year-old and nine-year old children, who reported that they had not seen their mother since approximately 9 pm the previous evening. Officers located the victim’s vehicle, which was parked near the residence, with the keys and cell phone left inside. Cell phone records were obtained for the victim’s cell phone, and it was determined that the last call received on the phone was on November 16, 2020 from the defendant. Investigation of the victim’s car also revealed the possible presence of blood, which was subsequently confirmed through forensic analysis. Surveillance video of the defendant’s residence was reviewed, and it revealed that the defendant arrived at his residence in the victim’s vehicle on the morning of November 17, 2020. He could be observed carrying a large and heavy object into the residence.

Records were obtained for the defendant’s cell phone, which indicated that the defendant was in Michigan. On November 19, 2020, Pennsylvania State Parole were notified that the defendant was a suspect in a missing person case where foul play was suspected, and a warrant was issued for his extradition. On November 20, 2020 the US Marshal Service located the defendant in Flint Michigan, and he was turned over to the Michigan State Police.

On Tuesday, February 9, 2021, the defendant received his Miranda warnings. He waived his rights and agreed to speak with detectives. He stated that while at the victim’s house he had borrowed the victim’s cell phone. In doing so, he saw pictures of the victim with other men, which caused him to become angry and he choked the victim to death. He stated that he carried the victim out of the house in a bag, took the body to his home, and then hid the body in a trash can.

“An incredible list of dedicated law enforcement agencies worked in coordination to make this arrest, including the Lansdowne Police Department, the Upper Darby Police Department, Philadelphia Police Department Homicide Detectives, the Criminal Investigation Division, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Michigan State Police, and the US Marshal Service, all of which played a vital role in the arrest of this defendant. While we mourn this tragic loss of life, the community should know that my office will work hard to ensure that justice is done,” said DA Stollsteimer.

The District Attorney and the Criminal Investigations Division remind anyone in Delaware County who observes suspicious activity to call 911 immediately and provide the most specific and accurate details possible to assist law enforcement agencies investigating the call for service.


Contact: Margie McAboy, Public Information Officer, Delaware County District Attorney’s Office, 610-579-0429.