Security officers at a US apartment made a gruesome discovery on Wednesday afternoon when they went to check on a 22-year-old woman they hadn’t seen in about a month.
They discovered a bloody scene with two suitcases containing body parts, according to a senior NYPD official and law enforcement sources with knowledge of the investigation.
Residents of the Linwood Apartments in East New York reported a foul smell and told security the woman had not been seen for several days.
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A senior NYPD official says they went to her sixth-floor apartment and encountered someone believed to be her boyfriend.
It wasn’t clear what exactly prompted building security at the Linwood Apartments in East New York to do the mid-afternoon check on Wednesday, but that man wouldn’t let them inside, the senior official said.
The security officers told the man that they’d call the cops to gain access.
He and another man left the apartment once security officers walked away, building surveillance showed, with one of the men carrying a black duffel bag.
Security saw them leave and went back to the apartment.
That’s when they encountered a horror scene.
Blood in the bathtub, a meat cleaver and a horrible stench. They called 911 immediately.
“Security has keys to get in her place, they have master keys and they walk in and they see blood all over the place,” NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig said on Thursday.
“And they pull back out.”
Investigators obtained a search warrant for the apartment. In it were found two suitcases with apparent human remains. It wasn’t clear if there was a whole body or who the victim even was. That’s pending autopsy results.
Police do not believe it was a random attack, and cops are now looking to speak with the man presumed to be the missing woman’s boyfriend. The senior NYPD official says he has an active order of protection against him related to her.
“My head hurts, my heart hurts, my eyes hurt from crying,” neighbour Stephanie Harris told the NY Post.
“Maybe five, six days ago I seen her. Before that, they was having problems real bad.”
“For two years he [was] beating on her, broke her apartment down, broke her legs, broke her ribs,” Harris added.
“Her mum was complaining, ‘I want to get her away from this building. She’s gonna end up dead, please get her away from this building.’ Nobody wants to listen.
“A couple of months ago she came back with crutches,” Harris said.
“He broke her apartment down, he broke the TVs in her apartment. And I cried and I said, ‘Listen, I don’t want to see you on the news.’
“She would always say, ‘I can’t wait to get away’.“
“After this year I’m going. I don’t know where I’m gonna go, but I’m going. My mumma gonna know where I’m at. I gotta go. I feel like my time is almost up.’”
A neighbour who lives on the sixth floor told NBC New York that he would regularly hear commotion from the apartment where the suitcases were found, and that police have visited several times.
“A lot of fighting and arguing,” said the neighbour who only gave his first name, Jeremy.
“You hear arguing, banging, loud stuff, regular stuff. But you can’t — like I said, if you try to interrupt and stuff, you’re putting yourself in a problem you can’t solve.”
An investigation is ongoing.
Other residents expressed shock and disbelief over the gruesome discovery.
“This neighbourhood is not the best neighbourhood, to be honest with you,” neighbour Lindsey Vena said.
“But this is outrageous. Absolutely outrageous.
“It makes me scared to even be around here. I’m just sick.”
Another resident described the incident as “wicked”.
“This is scary,” they told Eyewitness News.
“I live here with my family, and it’s just kind of wicked knowing that there’s somebody doing something like this where you lay your head at night.”
– With Romney Smith and Ida Siegal
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