A gruesome discovery found amid the rubble of a torched pawn shop suggests the death toll surrounding ongoing riots nationwide could be higher than originally thought.
Investigators from several local, state and federal agencies first went to the wreckage of a Minneapolis pawn shop Monday after an anonymous tip was submitted, according to the Star Tribune.
There, authorities discovered the charred body of a man.
“The body appears to have suffered thermal injury, and we do have somebody charged with setting fire to that place,” Minneapolis Police Department spokesman John Elder told the newspaper.
An autopsy will be performed to determine the identity of the man and his exact cause of death.
Montez Terrill Lee, the 25-year-old Rochester man charged with burning down the Minneapolis pawn shop, Max It Pawn, on May 28, was shown boasting on video in front of the flaming building, according to the Star Tribune. If prosecutors link him to the death, he certainly will see more serious charges.
The pawn shop where the body was found was burned down as part of the violent riots that consumed the city in the wake of George Floyd’s death on May 25.
Video of the pawn shop inferno, along with other destruction across the city, was captured and widely circulated on social media.
WARNING: The following videos contain graphic language that some viewers will find offensive.
Are there riot-caused deaths that haven’t been discovered yet?
Although Minneapolis has largely stabilized since the first riots, other American cities have had trouble pacifying the mob.
In Portland, Oregon, where riots have stretched for more than 50 days, the violence seems nowhere close to an end.
If the Minneapolis pawn shop fire, which was recorded and seen throughout the nation, was able to conceal a death for months, there’s no telling how many lives have been lost under the cover of the mob’s chaos.
The riots have prevented police from effectively patrolling at times, resulting in a staggering number of deaths already. Who knows how many others were murdered or killed in the confusion?
As the discovery of the charred body in Minneapolis suggests, it could be far higher than we realized.
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