Trauma doctors are working to save the lives of a man and woman who were stabbed nearly two dozen times inside, what police are calling, a hoarder's home in North Philadelphia.
Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small says officers responded to the house along the 5900 block of North 4th Street in the Olney section of the city around 4:30 a.m. on Tuesday.
When officers arrived they found a 54-year-old man in the doorway of the home. He had been stabbed at least two times in the chest. Nearby, on a neighbor's front porch, a 71-year-old woman, riddled with 15 stab wounds from head to toe, lay bleeding.
Paramedics quickly rushed both victims to Albert Einstein Medical Center where they are in extremely critical condition, Small said. "It's unknown whether they are going to survive," he said.
The man and woman are roommates and that their two-story rowhome is filled to the brim with furniture, trash and debris, according to Small. There are also up to 20 cats and kittens inside. He says the condition of the home is hindering the police investigation.
"Inside the home, it's very hard to tell what happened because it's a hoarder location," Small said. "You'd have to walk through little trails to traverse the mess and the debris."
Police found a 6-inch kitchen knife on the walkway near the man's body. It's unclear whether it was the weapon used in the stabbing.
A rear window appeared to have been forced open, but Small said there were a number of broken and boarded up windows at the house, so detectives are working to figure out if that was prior damage or an entry point for an attacker.
Detectives interviewed a teenage neighbor. Small said the 18-year-old was hosing down the large amount of blood on the walkway and the female victim when police arrived at the scene.
"From the first officers on the scene, they tell me, he was actually squirting the hose on the female, which isn't good. So we had that individual transported to Northwest Detectives so he can tell us what actually transpired prior to our arrival," Small said.
The teen is being treated as a witness, he added.
The man was still conscious when he was rushed to the hospital and Small said officers jumped into the back of the ambulance to interview him. But, officers were not able to get much information.
Detectives continue to investigate. The Pennsylvania SPCA were called in to remove the cats from the home.