A killer thug slashed the West Chester University student's throat yesterday in her Germantown home and then tried to cover up the crime by setting the house ablaze.
Firefighters who answered the 12:08 p.m. call found Adams' body on her bed in the second-floor front bedroom, said Homicide Lt. Philip Riehl.
She was pronounced dead at 12:25 p.m.
The 21-year-old psychology major suffered wounds to the neck and head, Riehl said.
Adams was found naked from the waist down and had suffered defensive wounds, police sources said. Riehl said they have no suspects yet, and so far know of no motive for the slaying.
It's unclear why Adams was in the home since she lives on the West Chester campus, in the South Campus Apartments, according to a student phone directory.
The fire appears to have been started on the second floor of the home, on Seymour Street near Pulaski Avenue, homicide detectives said.
Her mother, Sheila Harper, also lives there, but she was in Maryland at the time of the fire and the discovery of Adams' body, said neighbor Wilma Carter.
"She's a mess," said Carter, 53, last night. Harper went home briefly and was consoled by neighbors in front of the fire-damaged home, Carter said.
"This is a bad nightmare and I want to wake up from it. I want to wake up," Harper told neighbors last night, according to Carter.
"Everybody is like, they can't believe it, they just can't believe it," Carter said.
Carter did not know why Harper was in Maryland.
A neighbor, who asked that her name be withheld, said she was in the twin attached to the Harper/Adams residence, getting her hair coiled by the homeowner at the time of the crime.
The neighbor said she and the homeowner heard a high-pitched sound blasting for about "5 to 8 minutes."
Finally, the homeowner ran outside and saw smoke coming from the second-floor window.
The woman called 9-1-1 when she realized there was a fire.
"It's frightening. It's horrible," said the woman.
"I'm always here every day looking out the window, but I'm glad I didn't see this happen. Today wasn't the day for me to see this happen."
West Chester University officials were informed of Adams' connection to the school by a reporter last night.
"What a tragedy it is to lose a young life and our condolences go out to the family," said university spokesperson Loretta MacAlpine.
"What a horrible crime."
MacAlpine believed Adams was a psychology student, according to a 2003-2004 campus phone directory.
Some neighbors knew of Asia Adams, but said both mother and daughter kept to themselves.
They lived there for about 10 to 15 years.
Alysha Ruiz, 15, said she often saw Adams being picked up and dropped off in front of her house by male friends. Ruiz said police questioned her about someone named "Napoleon."
"She was a nice child. She went to college," said neighbor Veta Harris, 53, who came home last night to find yards of yellow crime scene tape strung along her block.
"There's been a lot of tragedy around here. It's too much."