A day after Philadelphia police officers stopped two men driving a U-Haul truck away from the scene of a reported burglary in Somerton and discovered a dismembered body in the back, investigators were searching for evidence Friday in dumpsters behind a nearby strip mall.
Police collected a black plastic bag from the dumpsters behind a group of stores at Proctor Road and Kelvin Avenue. The strip mall is a few blocks from the 1000 block of Sanibel Street, where 7th District officers were called Thursday for a report of a burglary and saw the men driving away in the truck.
Investigators at the house on Sanibel on Friday were also continuing to search a detached garage where the burglary was first reported, and employees of the SPCA and ACCT Philly were also on scene removing birds in cages and other animals from inside the residence.
Still, as the investigation continued, the crime remained something of a mystery. Police officials declined to provide new details on the probe. They also would not identify the victim or name the men they had taken into custody, and they did not specify how those men might have known the person who was killed.
Sarah Barnett, a spokesperson for ACCT, said there were about 30 parrots inside the house, along with several bearded dragon lizards, tortoises, and koi fish and beehives in the backyard. Barnett said it appeared as if the homeowner was trying to breed and sell the birds, which she said were “very highly sought-after” and can worth thousands of dollars each.
Police said Thursday that officers had been called to the block for a report of a burglary involving a U-Haul. When officers arrived and saw the truck driving away, they followed it to the intersection of Kelvin Avenue and Foster Street, where police said the driver got out and said: “‘I don’t want anything to do with this, and there’s a body in the back.’”
Officers also found a weapon in the back of the truck, police said. The driver and another man were taken into custody.