Suspect steals SUV with dead shooting victim inside, friend uses phone to track vehicle: Police

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia police say they are working a complicated and unusual investigation as they search for a killer and car thief.

Investigators were notified just after 10:30 p.m. Monday that a stolen SUV was tracked down at 57th and Thomas streets in Southwest Philadelphia.

When police arrived, they discovered a 25-year-old man dead in the front passenger seat.

"Suffering from at least one gunshot wound to his neck. Medics pronounced that 25-year-old shooting victim dead on the scene," Chief Inspector Scott Small said.

That location is where it all ended, but it isn't where it all began.

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Police believe the victim was shot five hours prior at Lee Street and Indiana Avenue in the city's Kensington section.

The location is roughly 15 miles from where the victim was found in the SUV.

"When 24th district police went to (Lee and Indiana), they did find some ballistic evidence, however the vehicle with the victim in it was already gone," Small said.

Police believe the victim was shot while inside the SUV but in a bizarre twist, someone then stole the vehicle.

"We're getting information that after this person was shot, someone was seen getting into the vehicle and then driving the vehicle westbound on Indiana," Small said.

Investigators aren't sure if the car thief was also the shooter, but said the person drove 15 miles with the dead victim in the front passenger seat.

Police are crediting a woman who knows the victim for tracking his cellphone, which eventually led officers to the vehicle.

Investigators are checking additional cameras in search of more clues.

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