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Skeletal remains of 2, one with revolver, found in Philly house

| Friday, May 4, 2007

PHILADELPHIA -- The decomposed remains of two people, one holding a revolver, were found in a Northeast Philadelphia home where residents had not been seen for more than a year, police said.

"The bodies are completely decomposed; you can't make out if they are male of female, it is just bones," Philadelphia Police Capt. Scott Small said.

Water department workers found the bodies when they entered the Lumar Park home to shut off water that had been reported flowing out of the house, Small said. The bodies were found in a bedroom, one in a bed and another in a chair, he said.

"The body in the chair had what appears to be a 5-shot revolver in the right hand," he said.

Small said a note was found, but declined to disclose the contents or say whether it was dated. Neighbors told police they had not seen the residents for more than a year.

"It's rare to find a body that's that decomposed and been deceased that long, that it's skeletal remains - very rare," Small said.

The medical examiner will try to identify the bodies and determine what caused the deaths.

Investigators will check to see whether police were called to check on the well-being of the occupants, Small said. The ranch house, off the street and surrounded by hedges, was "pretty sealed up," which may explain why neighbors did not report detecting any odor, he said.

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