PHILADELPHIA -- A woman whose body was found in a vacant lot had been strangled and sexually assaulted and may be the third victim of a serial strangler, police said Thursday.

Police Deputy Commissioner William Blackburn announced the results of an autopsy on the 27-year-old woman at a news conference Thursday. It appears the killing may be connected to the person responsible for two earlier murders in the city's Kensington section, Blackburn said.

"Based on similarities, it appears that it may be the work of the individual responsible for the first two murders," Blackburn said.

The woman, whose name wasn't released, was found dead in a wooded area near a set of train tracks on Wednesday night.

Investigators said the body had been "posed," was undressed from the waist down and had bruising around the throat, KYW-TV reported.

The body was found blocks from where the two earlier victims, Elaine Goldberg, 21, and Nicole Piacentini, 35, were discovered last month. DNA evidence has determined that those two killings are linked.

At least three other women have reported being attacked by a man who choked, sexually assaulted or hit them, police said.

Police have been scouring the neighborhood for a suspect or suspects, and last week they released surveillance video of a man they think may be connected to the attacks.