Local authorities are actively investigating after identifying the shocking remains of a child found discarded in a Philadelphia dumpster as 12-year-old Hezekiah Bernard.
Police believe his cause of death to be homicide after an autopsy revealed the boy had been fatally shot in the head.
Sanitation workers made the grisly discovery last week when unpacking trash collected near 55th and Cherry Streets. Hezekiah’s plastic-wrapped body and blanket-covered remains indicated foul play. Though not reported missing, family members were able to identify him through distributed fliers days later.
At a press briefing, Homicide Unit Inspector Ernest Ransom described the brutality of Hezekiah being “senselessly killed and placed in a trash can.” With no obvious motive surfaced and unknown perpetrators, police are pursuing leads hoping to apprehend those involved.
The local community has united in mourning the loss of the young life. A balloon release tribute was held by anti-violence organization Level Up, where pastor and director Aaron Campbell said they gathered “to honor Hezekiah” and show “the power of our youth.” Fellow teen Jyshair Montgomery fondly remarked “he’s gone but he ain’t never going to be forgotten.”
As the investigation enters its active phase, authorities encourage any with information on this disturbing case to come forward. Finding justice for Hezekiah remains the utmost priority as police work diligently to solve this tragedy and help ease the pain of a grieving family.