Four people have been charged in the death of a 23-year-old father of two whose body police found inside of a trash can last week in Philadelphia’s Olney section, police said Tuesday.

Lashawana Dantzler, 24; Zahmir Mason, 19; and Jordan Oliver-Williams, 19, were charged Saturday with murder, abuse of corpse, conspiracy, and related crimes in the slaying of Darius Cheeseboro, whose body was found inside a dumpster at Sixth and Rockland Streets on Jan. 14. Zamir Burton, 18, was charged with abuse of corpse and related crimes for his alleged involvement in the death.

The Medical Examiner’s Office determined that Cheeseboro died of multiple trauma and lacerations.

Police declined to comment on the defendants’ motive or their relationship to Cheeseboro, who lived on the 100 block of East Albanus Street with his mother, girlfriend, and daughters.

In an interview Tuesday, Cheeseboro’s mother, Tanya Christian, said detectives told her that her son was “ambushed.” She said she believes that he didn’t know any of the suspects and that they didn’t know him.

Darius Cheeseboro, 23, was found dead in an Olney trash can last week. Four people were arrested this week in connection to his death.
Courtesy of Tanya Christian
Darius Cheeseboro, 23, was found dead in an Olney trash can last week. Four people were arrested this week in connection to his death.

Christian remembered her son as a kind family man who loved spending time with his daughters, Deana, 2, and Dasia-Lee, 1. She said that her granddaughters keep asking their mother, “Where’s Da-da?”

“My son was taken from me, and I don’t know why,” said Christian, who reported her son as missing after he went out around 11 p.m. last Dec. 20 and never returned.

“He said he was going and coming right back, but he never came back," she said.

“He was trying to rebuild and turn his life around," she added.

Police said Cheeseboro was stabbed multiple times inside a rowhouse on the 4800 block of Fairhill Street in Olney, just around the corner from where his body was discovered, but declined to elaborate.

Officers were led to the body, inside a trash can under a road bridge, by a teen who notified officials at her school that she had witnessed a homicide over Christmas break.

Dantzler previously pleaded guilty to simple assault in 2014, records show. Mason pleaded guilty to theft and carrying a weapon in 2019, and Oliver-Williams was charged with intent to distribute a controlled substance in 2019. All three were being held without bail. Burton was being held at Curran-Fromhold on $500,000 bail.