PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia police are investigating after the remains of a young woman were found inside a home in South Philadelphia on Thursday night. The victim’s body was found shortly after 5:10 p.m. in a basement located on the 2100 block of West Porter Street.
Police say the sheriff’s department, along with detectives from the human trafficking unit, were there to serve a robbery search warrant to a female at the property when officers discovered a badly decomposed body of a young woman inside the basement.
Philadelphia police stopped short of fully confirming that the body they found belonged to an 18-year-old woman they were looking for, saying only that the scene “involved” that search — and the body they found belonged to a woman who was approximately 18. The victim was not identified.
“It’s still very early. No ID. No matter of death. But the people on the house obviously knew there was a dead body in the house and that’s obviously concerning,” Acting Philadelphia Police Commissioner Christine Coulter said.
Coulter says charges are expected but police are waiting on the medical examiner’s report.
“We have a lot of young folks out in the world that are taken advantage of. People who want out of that life feel stuck. A lot of it is young ladies from here and they wind up from here. It’s something that’s very serious. Regardless of how they got into that life, they shouldn’t be forced,” Coulter said.
Five people were inside the house at the time — three men and two women. All five were taken into custody with at least one of them arrested, according to Sheriff Rochelle Bilal.
“Thirty years I’ve been here — 18 years old and this, I don’t understand it,” said one neighbor.
That neighbor, who did not want to be identified, said she didn’t know the residents of the home at all.
An investigation is ongoing.
CBS3’s Alexandria Hoff contributed to this report.