Body Burned Beyond Recognition in Parked Station Wagon

Firefighters find a person shot in the head inside a burned-out station wagon along West Fishers Lane in Philadelphia's Logan neighborhood

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What to Know

  • Firefighters were called on to extinguish a burning station wagon parked along West Fishers Lane early Thursday.
  • Once the fire was out, a badly burned body was found in the front passenger's seat.
  • Police are searching for clues about who ignited the blaze.

Neighbors heard what sounded like an explosion in a North Philadelphia neighborhood early Thursday morning and when firefighters arrived to put out the blaze, they made a grisly discovery.

Firefighters took about 10 minutes to extinguish the burning 2007 gray Mercedes-Benz station wagon parked along West Fishers Lane near North Sydenham in Logan just before 2 a.m.

They then found a body burned nearly to the bone in the passenger seat, Philadelphia police said.

"It's actually laying on its back with its head down by the floor board and its feet facing the rear of the vehicle. So that is unusual," said Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small.

Hours later, police revealed the person had been shot in the head.

The fire was so hot it melted the siding of a nearby garage.

Mystery surrounded the death as investigators couldn’t initially tell the age or gender of the body. They at one point said it appeared to be a man's body but later said it couldn't be determined.

The wagon is registered to a Philadelphia address, but not one in the immediate area, police said. Police said the car owner may be the dead person as they have been unable to contact that person.

An ATF officer used a K-9 to canvass the area in hopes of finding signs of an accelerant. Police also hoped that surveillance video could provide clues.

There are additional resources for people or communities that have endured gun violence. Further information can be found here.

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