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June 27, 2016

Decapitated, charred human remains found after fire inside Germantown home

Headless body is one of five new homicide investigations started by Philadelphia police after violent weekend

The decapitated, charred remains of a person whose fingertips also had been chopped off was the most gruesome of five new homicide investigations launched by Philadelphia police during a violent weekend.

The burnt body parts were discovered Saturday at about 8:48 p.m. inside the basement of a home on the 200 block of East Price Street in the city's Germantown neighborhood. Officers had been called to the scene after Philadelphia firefighters extinguished a fire in the basement at the rear of the house.                                                                                   

The fire marshal determined that the fire started next to the victim’s body, police said Monday.

The victim, who appeared to have been dead for several weeks, was wrapped in a green sheet and then wrapped again in plastic.

Police said the body was in the advanced stages of decomposition. The victim's head was separated from the body and each of the fingertips had been severed from the victim’s hands, police said. 

The victim also had "a penetrating stab wound to the chest, and trauma to the head and neck," police said. Due to the amount of decomposition, additional forensic examination is expected to be performed on the head and neck.

Police have not yet identified the body nor have they determined a motive or suspects in the killing.

The following are other four other homicide investigations started by Philadelphia police during the weekend.

Woman killed by crossbow in Northeast Philly

In Northeast Philadelphia on Sunday, a 42-year-old woman was killed when her husband shot her through the chest with a crossbow, police said.

At approximately 9:19 p.m., officers responded to a radio call on the 3100 block of Willits Road for a report of a "person with a weapon." Officers found Pamela Kightlinger suffering from a penetrating wound to her chest.  

Police said that before Kightlinger died, she and a witness  reported that Kightlinger's 41-year-old husband allegedly had shot the victim with a crossbow inside of the residence.  

Kightlinger was transported to Aria-Torresdale Hospital, where she died at 10:34 p.m., police said. 

Police said the name of Kightlinger's husband would be released once he is charged with a crime. 

Kingsessing stabbing suspect found trying to hide under car

On Sunday evening, police officers in the Kingsessing section of Southwest Philly found a 50-year-old man bleeding from his abdomen as he walked along the 5200 block of Kingsessing Avenue.

Police found the man at approximately 6:18 p.m. with blood covering his stomach and legs. The victim pointed to another male standing at 51st Street and Kingsessing Avenue and told police, “He stabbed me."

Officers chased the suspect, who ran onto Paxon Street from Kingsessing Avenue, and arrested him as the 53-year-old suspect tried to crawl under a car.  The suspect was taken into custody. Police said he had blood on his hands, and he allegedly was in possession of a knife.

The victim was transported to Penn-Presbyterian Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 11:37 p.m., police said.

Police are withholding the identity of the victim, pending notification of his family and the identity of the suspect until he is formally charged. 

Victims shot in Cobbs Creek, Strawberry Mansion

In Cobbs Creek,  a man was shot last Sunday night on the 200 block of South Edgewood Street.

The victim Jamal Washington, 24 of the 4100 block of Longshore Avenue, was found laying on the kitchen floor of a home there, shot in the head and arm. Police said he had a handgun in his hand.

Officers investigating the incident later stopped a driver on the 5200 block of Spruce Street. Police recovered a handgun and the driver was arrested. 

No charges have been filed at this time.

In Strawberry Mansion early Monday morning, police responded to the 2300 block of North Cleveland Street where they found a 36-year-old man laying in the street, suffering from a gunshot wound to his torso. 

The male victim was transported to Temple Hospital by police, where he was pronounced dead at 1:53 a.m., law enforcement officials said. 

An investigation into this shooting is ongoing and law enforcement officials have not released the identification of the victim, pending the notification of the man's family.