CYPRESS HILLS, Brooklyn (WPIX) — It was a gruesome discovery, and now, after a woman’s dismembered body was found in suitcases in her apartment in Brooklyn, police investigators are searching for at least one person in connection with the crime.
The incident is also reminding local residents of a similar murder from earlier this year, which also involved a dismembered body discovered nearby. That case is unrelated, but the proximity and similarity have left some neighbors disturbed.
In the most recent case, a woman in her early 20s was found dismembered in her home in the Cypress Hills neighborhood.
NYPD crime scene technicians and detectives were in and out of the building on Thursday, removing bags of evidence related to the grisly scene that was discovered the day before.
The building’s superintendent, who had received complaints of a foul odor coming from an apartment, let police in at about 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday to check on a woman in her early 20s. They entered and found parts of her body cut up and left in two suitcases, according to police.
A neighbor who lives on the same floor, a few doors down, who did not want to give his name, said that the woman and her boyfriend had long had a contentious relationship.
“You’d hear arguing, banging, loud stuff,” he said about arguments in the woman’s apartment that many neighbors couldn’t avoid.
“If you tried to break it up,” he continued, “you’re just putting yourself in a problem you can’t solve.”
He said that there was often evidence that the fights between the woman and her boyfriend got very physical.
“Somebody gets hit very hard in the mouth, right?” he said. “The blood trail will lead from the door to the elevator. They stood in the elevator obviously to the first floor, came back out to the front of the building. The blood trail stops there, and you’d see them both arguing in front of the building.”
The boyfriend is being sought in the case, according to neighbors and police sources.
Some other residents of the building said that the disturbing scene was just too close to home.
“I want to move,” said one resident, a mother who was returning home after picking up her child from school. “I’m annoyed, and I’m shocked,” she said. She declined to give her name.
Another resident, Noël, was also returning home from school with his children on Thursday afternoon.
“I never thought I’d see something like that coming out of this building,” he said.
Others in the neighborhood said that while the case is disturbing, they’re not surprised.
Samantha Wren said she lived her whole life in the neighborhood until moving recently to Texas. She’d returned to help her mother settle the affairs of her recently deceased father.
“Now, this is the second time in this neighborhood that something like this has happened,” Wren said. “Not that they’re linked — it’s just that it’s unfortunate.”
Wren was referring to a case from six months ago, when the torso of a missing woman, Susan Leyden, was found in a bag in a shopping cart about 15 blocks away. Days later, other remains were found. Alleged serial killer Harvey Marcelin ended up being charged with the murder. He has pleaded not guilty in the case, and his trial is pending.
But no suspect has been apprehended in this latest case. Investigators gathered evidence on Wednesday afternoon and continued through early in the evening on Thursday, hoping to put together a clearer picture of the crime.
Police sources and neighbors indicated that investigators are seeking the victim’s boyfriend, and possibly an accomplice.