PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Police say a 43-year-old man was found dead inside the trunk of a burning vehicle in South Philadelphia on Tuesday afternoon. Police say the man’s body was found wrapped in a blanket in a Jeep that was full of smoke on the 2700 block of South 3rd Street, around noon.
— Joe Holden (@JoeHoldenCBS3) January 21, 2020
Investigators spent much of the afternoon going inch-by-inch through the Jeep with New Jersey tags for a trail of evidence left behind as those responsible failed to set the vehicle on fire.
Authorities say a drive-thru bank teller noticed smoke coming from the vehicle and called 911.
Those working nearby tell CBS3 the Jeep had not been here long.
Investigators are reviewing surveillance video and looking for potential witnesses.
Those in the area were stopped in their tracks by the police activity.
“I came from the Dollar Store because I work for Tony Luke’s, and when I came here, went to the bank and I see all this and I ask my wife what is going on, and my wife says maybe somebody died, and you know, I don’t know what’s going on,” Eddie Luvice said.
“I’m really surprised somebody would even do something like that,” Mary McGill said.
The victim’s family and friends showed up, including one man who told KYW Newsradio his late friend was a good man and hard worker.
“He actually builds homes, I frame homes,” the man said. “He does real estate, that’s what he does.”
He can’t imagine why somebody would want to hurt his friend.
“It’s devastating,” he said. “Great dude, outstanding person.”
The victim’s body was taken to the medical examiner’s office.
Police sources say it’s too early to suggest how the victim died.
CBS3’s Joe Holden contributed to this report.