Local/State

Woman's body found in Strawberry Mansion lot

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Crime scene investigators snapped photos and tried to look for clues into the death of a woman at a demolished home at 33rd and Dauphin streets in Philadelphia's Strawberry Mansion section.

Harvey Figgs was doing cleanup for the city's Department of Licenses and Inspections when he found the badly decomposed body.

"Called the cops, let them know there was a body on the job. You can't really see the body itself, we just know there was bone sticking up through the plastic," Figgs said.

Philadelphia police say the body is that of a woman.

She was covered with a piece of carpet.

A plastic bag covered her head. Her pants were down by her ankles. A condom and drugs were found inside them, but no identification. A source says the woman likely died two months ago.

Neighbors say the home was demolished about a month ago; before that, it had been vacant for 10 to 15 years, but drug users and prostitutes often used it as a place of business.

Now the question remains was it used as a place to kill.

"Smells like human flesh, if you ever smelled a dead body before, you know what a body smells like. Very unmistakable," Figgs said.

Police will try and get a print off the body to identify the woman or use dental records.

The Medical Examiner will ultimately decide if this is a homicide after the autopsy is completed, but sources say all signs point to murder.

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strawberry mansion, philadelphia, local/state
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