PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - Crime scene investigators working well into the evening sifting through dirt on a vacant North Philly lot examining bones. The Medical Examiner's Office says they are human remains found at the corner of 17th and Atlantic.
"I couldn't believe it," said Latif Floyd. He says he saw with his own eyes what our cameras captured when we got to the scene.
"All I seen was a leg like this long," he says. And that's not all. Police say they got the call just before 4 o'clock Tuesday afternoon about possible human remains here. They say a private contractor told them they found a jaw bone with teeth and a skull mixed in dirt and debris. Turns out an excavator digging on the site Monday of last week saw bones then but didn't call police.
"When they got about six feet underground they found some bones. But at the time, a week ago, they thought they were bones belonging to an animal," said Chief Inspector Scott Small. Police believe the bones make up one body and based on some clothing on some of the parts they say it might be a woman.
"Ribs, a spine, pelvis, arms and legs. Some of the body parts are missing but most of the bones are intact. The body appeared to be wearing pink clothing possibly a pink jacket and other pink clothing underneath," said Chief Inspector Small.
It was the last thing Monique Fowler expected to hear when she came home from work to find cop cars everywhere and crime scene taped stretched from a store on one corner to a house next to the lot.
"The deli getting robbed. I thought the deli got robbed," she said. Police say the laundry mat that used to be here has been gone since mid to late last year. Neighbors say the property was just cleaned up a month ago and now this.
"I'm praying that it's nobody's child. I mean I'm sorry that it's anyone but I'm hoping that it's not a child," said Fowler.
Investigator say the body looks to be an adult or young adult. They also believe it was intact but broke up when crews started digging with machinery.
The Medical Examiner believes the bones have been there about a year. They will use dental records and DNA to try and identify the person and figure out how they died.