Police Find Bound, Tethered Bodies in River, Soaking Wet Victim Escapes

A soaking wet man, bound and suffering from stab wounds, crawled from Philadelphia's Schuylkill River after he and two other men were abducted, attacked, robbed and dumped into the water, police said.

The other two victims never made it out of the river.

Philadelphia Police rushed to the water along Kelly Drive near Hunting Park Avenue in Fairmount Park around 4 a.m. Wednesday after someone called 911 to report a partially-dressed injured man screaming along the roadway.

When authorities arrived on the scene, they found the man, identified by NBC10 sources as 23-year-old Thanh Voong, soaking wet and suffering from multiple stab wounds to his stomach and legs. His arms and legs were partially bound and he had duct tape on his face.

The attack left Voong in critical condition at Hahnemann University Hospital, where he underwent surgery for seven stab wounds.

Investigators found two bodies submerged in the water -- both bound with tape and tied or tethered to some sort of anchor.

Police using flashlights taped off an area along the river and searched for clues about what happened. Police dive teams finally recovered the bodies, which could be seen in about 5 to 10 feet of water, around 8:30 a.m.

Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said the victim told investigators that about five men abducted him near 62nd Street and Woodland Avenue in Southwest Philly and threw him into the back of a van around 1 a.m.

"While in the back of the van he was blindfolded, he was stabbed numerous times, he was robbed of an undisclosed amount of money," said Small. "He says that while in the back of the van he then realized that there were two other males in the back of the van... they were duct taped and they appeared to have been stabbed numerous times."

Police believe at some point Tuesday night, the abductors brought the men to a home at 72nd and Elmwood Streets. Officers returned to the home Wednesday night. Investigators tell NBC10 they found a marijuana growing operation inside, leading them to believe the abduction and attack was related to drugs. Small also said that robbery was the motive behind the attack.

Voong was unsure whether the two men with him in the vehicle were alive or dead, according to investigators.

Detectives are reviewing surveillance video that captured the area near where the abduction took place in hopes of finding the van and the suspects.

Voong somehow climbed out of the water, said Small.

An initial investigation showed that the men were dragged across the concrete and grass before being dumped in the river, according to police on the scene.

Police responded to the victim's Northern Liberties home to collect evidence.

"There were original reports of blood evidence," said Philadelphia Police Cpt. James Clark. "That is not the case. Through the investigation we found out the surviving victim lived there so we went to that residence. But the crime did not happen there."

Police continue to investigate. No arrests have been made.

Contact Us