This story has been updated
Sobbing and distraught, Kelly Tyson sat on the edge of her living-room couch yesterday, smoking a cigarette and wondering how her pretty, petite, sweet 23-year-old daughter ended up dead in a grassy Point Breeze lot, more than two miles from their South Philadelphia home.
"I want her home," she wept, speaking of her only child, Iris Tyson, whom she reported missing more than a week ago, on Mother's Day.
"She wouldn't be caught dead up in that area," Joe Tyson, Iris' father, said of the overgrown, weedy lot near abandoned buildings, where police found the body of a missing woman early Sunday morning.
"Somebody put my kid's body there," he said.
Police confirmed Tuesday that the woman found dead in a lot between Sydenham and Hicks streets, just north of Federal, was Iris Tyson.
Joe Tyson said he identified her at the coroner's office Sunday.
"It was my daughter," he said from his home, on Ritner Street near American, in the Whitman section of South Philadelphia.
He said that he identified her through photos of her tattoos, including a flower on her right foot and a butterfly on her lower back.
Tyson, 23, suffered blunt-force trauma to the head, police said Tuesday. Police did not yet have more details, and do not yet have a suspect or motive.
Her parents said that Iris lived with them. The last time they saw her was about 1 p.m. May 8.
"She said she was going out to get a Mother's Day card," Joe Tyson recalled, remembering how his daughter stood in the living room, near the front door. Then, his wife walked into the living room and asked if Iris wanted company, but their daughter said, "No, then you'll know what I'm going to do," the father said.
Iris said she loved them.
"We said, 'We love you,' " Joe Tyson recalled. "That was the last time we seen our baby."
They figured she walked to the Pathmark on Oregon Avenue, or to another store nearby.
They started worrying a couple of hours later when Iris didn't return. "That's not like my kid," Joe Tyson said.
Police spokesman Lt. Ray Evers said that Iris' mother filed a missing-person's report with police about 6 that night.
Throughout last week, Iris' family and friends posted and distributed fliers of her around South Philadelphia, noting that she was missing and asking for help. The parents were upset that TV news stations interviewed them, but did not air news reports about their missing daughter.
Their daughter wasn't working at the time and was thinking of going back to school to become a veterinarian, the Tysons said. She loved animals, and had a cat, Yum Yum, who followed her around the house.
Joe Tyson said that Iris was planning a trip to the Florida Keys with a friend, but then canceled because she didn't want to be away from home. She had a suitcase packed in her closet, and Yum Yum, realizing something was wrong, would sit on the suitcase over the past week, he said.
As his wife cradled her head in her hands, Joe Tyson said of their only child: "That was my wife's piece of crystal, my wife's piece of crystal."