PHILADELPHIA - A car has become the center of an investigation after a body was discovered inside its trunk after it went up in flames Saturday night.
Fire crews responded to reports of a car fire on the 8500 block of Barry Road around 10:30 p.m. Police say the location was "suspicious," because it was on a bike path near Pennypack Creek in Fox Chase.
Police say the fire was "clearly an intentional act" because the car was doused with an accelerant, likely gasoline.
After the fire was extinguished, crews reportedly found a man's body inside the trunk of the car. The body was reportedly bound at the feet with his arms behind his back and a one gunshot to the head.
"He was likely brought here to this location from some other location bound, kidnaped and then likely shot on location here just before the vehicle was doused with gasoline and set ablaze," said Police Inspector D F Pace.
Police say the victim is a young adult male, possibly in his late teens or early 20s, with distinct tattoos. He was later identified as 25-year-old Gerard Vega Gonzalez.
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Several people were in the woods shortly before the car was set on fire, according to police. However, police say lighting and lack of cameras in the area will make it difficult to identify them.
The burned car is reportedly registered to someone in Northeast Philadelphia, and was not reported stolen. However, police say they haven't located the owner and have not made a connection regarding ownership at this time.
Police are still searching for suspects, and a motive.