A missing 25-year-old man was found dead in south Philadelphia late last week, and now, police are trying to determine if his horrific death comes in connection with a possible seven-figure lottery win.
Francis DeCero was found in a set of bushes by a group of children in a southern section of the Pennsylvania city last Wednesday. Upon investigating, cops quickly determined that the poor young man had been shot, stabbed, and burned prior to being dumped in the area. Immediately, police opened a homicide investigation.
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Officials believe he may have been tortured prior to his death, considering the apparent injuries to his body at the time of his discovery. The grisly end comes about a week after DeCero had been first reported missing by loved ones back on April 26.
Now, police are wondering whether the man could have possibly been the winner of a recent $1 million lottery prize — and whether that could have led directly to his awful end. Apparently, someone named “Francis D” won $1 million on an Extreme Green Scratch-Off Ticket last month. The Philadelphia PD has been working to “coordinate with lottery officials” on the matter.
According to Fox 29 Philadelphia, Philly PD Captain Jason Smith told local media that the department has yet to find evidence that DeCero was the same “Francis D” who won the prize. Still, cops are flummoxed over the case, as there have been no leads as to who could have killed the popular young man. Perhaps the best info, according to the news outlet, is surveillance video of a Philly street last month. In the clip, DeCero is seen parking his Jeep and getting into another car, which then drives off.
DeCero’s family is hoping for justice. The slain man’s father, Lou Decero, spoke to CBS News Philadelphia about the case:
“I just hope they find who did this, this is what I want to know. Everybody loved that kid.”
The grieving father added:
“I have to know who did this, there was no reason. I don’t know who would [have] done this, I hope they find him.”
No arrests have been announced yet. For now, the police are continuing to investigate leads, and hope that members of the public will come forward if they have any insight into DeCero’s death.
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Here is more on this tragic case, from Fox 29 Philadelphia (below):
We send our condolences to DeCero’s family, friends, and loved ones during this awful time.