Authorities say they believe the badly decomposed male victim was in his 20s

A man out walking his dog in Tinicum Township, Pennsylvania, made a gruesome discovery on Thursday afternoon after he noticed a “foul odor” emanating from a suitcase abandoned on the side of the road.

He called police, who opened the suitcase and found a badly decomposed body inside, WPVI reports.

“He discovered a very foul odor,” Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan told the TV station of the dog walker, who has not been identified. “He came upon the suitcase and realized the smell was emanating from the suitcase and at that point of time, he called Tinicum Township Police.”

Authorities say they believe the male victim was in his 20s, but they are awaiting the results of an autopsy before releasing any more details.

Police sources told Delaware County Times that the man had injuries to his head, neck and jaw, but Whelan refused to confirm those reports.

“We are treating the death as a homicide, while we wait for the ruling of the medical examiner,” he said late Thursday evening, adding that there was nothing in the suitcase that could help identify the individual.

Tinicum Township resident Jim Martin told the paper that he first noticed the suitcase in question four to five weeks ago, but never approached it. “I thought it was odd, but not odd enough to make an issue,” he said.

He went on to say that it’s not unusual to see items tossed on the side of the road in that area. “People throw stuff right out of their cars,” Martin said.

The discovery has left residents of the town fearful. “I was scared and shocked because you don’t know what happened. Is there someone around town walking around who did it? When did this happen?” Ashlie Buchanan told WPVI.

An autopsy is scheduled for Friday morning.

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