04 July, 2017
Police made a disturbing discovery in Allegheny West Monday night, finding a casket fit for a child filled not with a body but with a bag of human organs.
People walking along the 3100 block of W. Clearfield Street came across an infant- or child-sized casket lying on the sidewalk just after 9 p.m.
"I was pretty shocked", witness Chris James told local CBS affiliate WMAR of the gruesome scene. "It was like something straight out of 'Thriller'". "We didn't know what was inside".
Officers arrived and opened the casket to find a bag of organs inside, but no body.
He added: "We didn't want to open it because we didn't know what was inside - we didn't know if it was toxic waste in there, it could be anything".
"It did look like organs", James told Philly.com. The medical examiner later confirmed that there were human organs, police said. "The coffin appeared to be a fresh coffin", Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small told Action News. "What's unusual is inside the coffin, other than the bag of organs, there was no body".
Small said the casket was "fresh" and recently pried open.
Even worse, the coffin appeared to have been freshly dug up from a grave or taken from a funeral home, Fox 29 reports.
Investigators have searched nearby cemeteries for evidence of a grave disturbance, but so far have not found anything.
Police have not singled out suspects or determined a motive.
The medical examiner's office, which has the casket and organs, didn't immediately return a call for comment.