A burned body was discovered early this morning in an empty apartment building in North Philadelphia, adding to an already high level of violence that began over the weekend.
The body, which appeared to be that of a male, was found at the bottom of a stairwell that connected two boarded-up structures between 15th and 16th Streets. Detectives from the homicide division were investigating the death, however it has not yet been labeled a homicide.
The grisly discovery was made when a fire crew was dispatched to the scene for a rubbish fire around 5 a.m. When they went to extinguish the blaze, firefighters found the body underneath.
Detectives say it was not clear whether the victim was already dead when the body was set ablaze.
No other details were available.
However, the grisly discovery comes on the heels of one of Philadelphia's most violent weekends of 2012, with two fatal shootings Saturday afternoon and four more that night and early Sunday.
That marked 306 homicides since January, leaving the city on track to post a higher homicide rate in 2012 than last year. That would be the third consecutive year of rising homicides.