March 2, 2003
PHILADELPHIA -- Police responding to a report of a dead body turned the victim over and found his heart, a lung and other organs had been cut out.
"Either ... there's a really sick person out there who wants to keep somebody's internal organs, or is there a market for this? Or are they trying to send a message?" homicide Capt. Charles Bloom said after the discovery Friday afternoon.
The victim also had a rope around his neck, police said.
A man searching for scrap metal inside an abandoned North Philadelphia house found the body lying face down and called police. Detectives found the victim's chest had been cut open from the neck to his stomach, and that his chest cavity was hollowed out.
"This wasn't done by animals," said Bloom.
Police said the victim had been dead for about 24 to 48 hours. His identity was unknown.
Police were also considering the possibility that someone abused the body after the man died of natural causes or a drug overdose, Bloom said. "This could be abuse of corpse, not necessarily a homicide," Bloom said.