"Pretty gruesome" was the reaction from one neighbor after two plumbers found a fetus inside a pipe in the home on the 800 block of East Russell.
"The stack pipe which is attached to the toilet in the basement was clogged and when they opened the pipe to clear it, the workers pulled out what appeared to be a human fetus," Philadelphia Police Inspector Scott Small said.
The medical examiner's office is now assisting the investigation to determine if anything criminal occurred.
Early indications are the fetus was in its early stages of development, possibly 2 to 3 months.
"At this point, it appears someone may have had a miscarriage," Small said.
Investigators say a couple in their 60s moved into the row home in recent weeks and were doing renovations. They are being questioned by detectives.
Neighbors say in the past that the house served as a sort of boarding home with people renting rooms.
A 'for rent' sign hangs on the front porch.
"I call it a transient house because you never know who is living in there; they stay there for few months and then they leave and come back again," neighbor Rose W. said.
Police are trying to determine who may have visited the home or lived there in recent months.
The main concern for investigators right now is to find the woman who may have miscarried and make sure she has received medical attention.
This story is from our sister station, WPVI-TV in Philadelphia.