Remains found inside a West Philadelphia dumpster have been identified as a 12-year-old named Hezekiah Bernard, prompting local authorities and Meek Mill to call for justice.
Officers Recently Identified The Remains As Hezekiah Bernard
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that a sanitation employee uncovered Bernard’s remains on Aug. 23. An autopsy reportedly revealed that the preteen had been dead for approximately 24–36 hours. Police identified him as Bernard earlier this week.
According to CBS Philadelphia, the 12-year-old sustained a single gunshot wound to the head, which was wrapped in plastic. His body was also veiled with a comforter, and authorities — who initially thought the victim was in his 20s — have ruled the matter as a homicide.
The body of a 12-year-old found in a dumpster on Phila. Housing Authority property at 5500 Cherry last Wednesday has been positively identified as Hezekiah Bernard. Investigators originally believed the victim was in his 20s. The manner of death is homicide. @CBSPhiladelphia pic.twitter.com/enUw7tzAQ7
— Joe Holden (@JoeHoldenCBS3) August 31, 2023
Meek Mill & Philadelphia Authorities Chime In: “They Need To Let Us Fight This S**t Back”
CBS Philadelphia notes that Ernest Ransom, staff inspector for the Philadelphia Police Department, explained that the remains were uncovered after “the trash contained flipped over” during a pickup.
“They take it to their facility at 5500 Haverford. Now they go back to fill it up with more trash at the time on the way back to that location, the trash container flipped over and that’s when they discovered the victim’s remains and they immediately notified police.”
Ransom went on to speak on how much it “hurts” to see a child’s life cut short so early.
“Like any parent, it hurts to see a young man or woman dead on the street at the prime of your life.”
He added, “That’s why it’s so important to bring these people to justice.” The publication also adds that people living in the area have expressed outrage over the killing.
Philly native Meek Mill chimed in on the case via his Instagram Story on Thursday (Aug. 31). Over a screenshot of a news report, he wrote, “They need to let us fight this s**t back.”
“Me and the old heads can clear some of this s**t up… we need the jails behind us too so it’s no escaping! The wrong women or child get killed [and] I don’t think we will be able to turn back.”
The “Dreams and Nightmares” artist wrapped up by stating, “Can black people still come together besides a rap concert or sports? We looking terrible.”
There are no further updates at this time, and Philadelphia authorities are still searching for suspects.