PHILADELPHIA, PA – A 47-year-old convicted sex offender was recently arrested after police responding to a burglary call happened upon something much more disturbing than stolen goods.
The suspect in question was reportedly not only in possession of a dismembered cadaver – police also allege he’s connected with some discovered deep-fried body parts.
— New York Post (@nypost) February 15, 2021
On February 11th, police in the Somerton neighborhood were responding to a suspected burglary and began to pursue a U-Haul truck that had allegedly fled the scene of the reported burglary.
When police had pulled the truck over, the driver of the vehicle apparently got out of the U-Haul and told police that he didn’t, “want anything to do with this…and there’s a body in the back.”
From what police say, the driver of the U-Haul was telling the truth about there being a body in the back of the truck – specifically, it was a dismembered body inside of a trash bag, along with a weapon.
— CBS Philly (@CBSPhilly) February 15, 2021
Police wound up taking the driver into custody, as well as the passenger in the U-Haul – later identified as Taray Herring.
The driver of the truck had reportedly informed investigators that he, “was paid to move a body,” and that was the extent of his engagement in the matter.
Authorities eventually wound up letting the driver of the truck go free without charges, but the same can’t be said for Herring.
After detectives interviewed Herring, they eventually searched various dumpsters that were near a strip mall and found some black trash bags containing someone’s hands and feet – which happened to have been deep-fried.
There were also various other human remains discovered among other garbage bags, but police say those weren’t deep-fried.
It’s currently unclear if the human remains discovered are in any way connected to the purported burglary as of this writing.
But there is speculation that the body inside of the U-Haul was Peter Gerold, which Gerold reportedly owns the home that police responded to on February 11th in relation to the burglary call.
Police were said to have executed a search warrant on the home of Gerold, with Philadelphia’s Animal Control & Care Team bringing out over 30 parrots and various other animals from the residence.
Locals in the area haven’t heard from Gerold in some time, but police still haven’t confirmed who the identity is of the human remains discovered.
For the time being, Herring has been charged with burglary, abuse of a corpse, and various other charges. He’s being held without bail and his next court appearance is slated for March 1st.
This is a developing investigation.
Please follow Law Enforcement Today as we gather further details on this ongoing case.
Just recently, we at Law Enforcement Today also reported on an incident stemming from Missouri that involved a dead body in the back of a vehicle.
Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters? Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you. Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories. Click to check it out.
However, in the Missouri case, it was actually a stolen funeral home van that still had a deceased individual inside of the back.
Here’s that previous report from earlier in February.
FESTUS, MO – Two suspects have reportedly been arrested for allegedly stealing a St. Louis area funeral home van that was stolen while it was parked outside of a gas station on February 11th.
Officials say that when the van was stolen, there was the body of a deceased individual inside of it.
Funeral home van with body inside stolen in Missouri https://t.co/qVycdvxhBo
— KGNS News (@KGNSnews) February 12, 2021
Luckily, both the van and the body that was inside of it have since been recovered.
Here are the details of this bizarre motor vehicle theft.
It was just before 10:30 a.m. on February 11th, when police say that a man and a woman had stolen a William C. Harris funeral home van that was left running outside of a QuikTrip gas station within the St. Louis area.
The driver of the funeral home van reportedly expressed remorse for the carelessness of leaving the vehicle running, which afforded the opportunity for it to be stolen.
At the time, police had released a photo on Twitter of the two suspects wanted in connection with the theft of the vehicle.
Stolen Vehicle Update: Photos of the stolen vehicle and the persons of interest, a male and a female, are attached. They may be in the Godfrey, Il area. Neither the vehicle or body have been recovered. Anyone with info should call 636-529-8210. pic.twitter.com/xezpsvpuBa
— St. Louis County PD (@stlcountypd) February 12, 2021
Prior to the two suspects being arrested a day later, William C. Harris Jr. expressed greater concerns over the body inside of the van, rather than the van itself, stating:
“I’m just asking them, they can have the van, just return the loved one. I need to have closure for the family.”
Police initially believed that the suspects may have been in the area of Godfrey, Illinois – but the rationale for those suspicions were never shared.
However, the two suspects were said to have been located and arrested within Festus, which is located roughly 34 miles south of St. Louis.
At approximately 10:00 a.m. on February 12th, police had arrested the suspects and later shared the good news of the recovery online, saying:
“The vehicle has been recovered and two individuals taken into custody. Most importantly, the body being conveyed in the back of the vehicle has also been recovered. THANK YOU for the re-tweets, amplifying this to your audiences was a great help.”
1/2. Stolen Vehicle Update: The vehicle has been recovered and two individuals taken into custody. Most importantly, the body being conveyed in the back of the vehicle has also been recovered. THANK YOU for the re-tweets, amplifying this to your audiences was a great help. pic.twitter.com/HYssmhMtYb
— St. Louis County PD (@stlcountypd) February 12, 2021
The suspects taken into custody have yet to be identified by officials, nor have any official charges been announced as of this writing.
Please follow Law Enforcement Today as we continue to gather updates on this developing case.
Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today? With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.