Police: Human remains found in North Philadelphia

A disturbing discovery.

Human bones.

Forensics detectives now trying to solve the mystery.

Who is this person?

Were they the victim of a crime?

As trains cruised through the darkness in North Philadelphia Wednesday night, they passed this abandoned lot just a few feet away at 17th and Indiana where police made a gruesome discovery that now has them searching for answers.

39th district officers on bike patrol were in the area, the 3000 block of North 17th street, while riding in that area they saw what they believed to be human remains under a blue tarp.

With those suspicions confirmed by the medical examiner's office, crime scene unit investigators returned to the trash strewn, fenced in lot Wednesday.

They began searching for more skeletal remains as they carefully tried to piece together the bones. They combed through trash, took pictures and searched the area hoping something might help them solve this mystery

The medical examiner office is doing a more thorough investigation, examining the remains to determine the sex, cause of death, things of that nature.

"It's scary, because it's so close. A lot of us women use that bridge to go across and go to appointments and everything," Jermaine Perry said.

Police estimate the remains may have been here for over a year. Jermaine Perry lives nearby, and while investigators aren't sure yet whether this was a male or female, Perry's thoughts were with the victim.

"I just feel sorry for the family, i don't know if she's a mother, sister. She has to be a mother or sister. It's just sad," Perry said.

The search also turned up a woman's shoe, size five and a half, a skirt and cell phone. Police have not yet found the head and other skeletal remains.

No idea how long, no idea of the gender and no idea of the cause of death.

"You can dump a lot of things over in this area; nobody will ever know it's there so we don't know how long it's been there," Perry said.

Police also found a back pack and other items. They say this area is frequented by prostitutes and drug dealers.