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Roofer charged with killing man found in burning vehicle

The District Attorney has charged a man in connection to a body that was found in a burning vehicle in a South Philadelphia parking lot.

Luis Cruz, 39, is charged with murder, arson, possession of a firearm, possession of an instrument of crime, obstruction of justice, abuse of corpse and tampering with evidence in relation to the gruesome discovery in Philadelphia’s 3rd Police District.

According to District Attorney Larry Krasner, Cruz was a contractor that was hired to do a roofing job for the victim. Cruz had a falling out over the decedent’s dissatisfaction with Cruz’s roofing work and refused to make payment for the work Cruz supplied, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

On January 21, police officers responded to a report of a 2019 Jeep Wrangler that was on fire on the 2700 block of South 3rd Street. Police discovered the body of 43-year-old Joslyn Morgan in the back seat of the burning vehicle with a gunshot wound to the head, police said.

After a postmortem examination, the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed that the cause of death was a close-range gunshot wound to the head.

Police used video evidence from multiple locations near the parking lot, records from two cell phones confiscated as evidence from the vehicle, and witness testimony, leading them to Cruz, police said.

On Saturday, Philadelphia Homicide Detectives executed a search warrant at Cruz’s home and discovered additional evidence linking him to the decedent’s murder, according to the DA’s report. Cruz was taken into custody, after which he confessed key details of the crime and his apparent attempt to dismember the victim’s body and destroy the remains to investigators, officials said.

“This shocking crime required a significant and thoughtful investigation. I thank the Philadelphia Police Department and my office’s Homicide Unit for their expedient and careful work in tracing this murder back to Luis Cruz, who appears to have taken a man’s life over an argument about the quality of his roofing work,” District Attorney Krasner said. “Because of this murder, a man is forever lost to his family and community. In addition to prosecuting this case, my office is working to make sure trauma-informed services and resources are available to the victim’s grieving loved ones.”

A preliminary hearing for Luis Cruz is scheduled for February 12 at the Juanita Kidd Stout Center for Criminal Justice.





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