Updated: 6:10 p.m., July 16
With the discovery of a fourth limb — a second human arm — the New Haven Police Department stopped its search for further body parts Thursday morning.
At 11 a.m. Wednesday, a New Haven police officer was approached by a man who had seen the legs and who led him to their location near the State Street train station. Police then confirmed the reports and began investigating, closing the streets to the public. The legs were found on city property, just outside of the State Street train station and hidden by foliage. Then, at around 7 p.m., police confirmed in a press conference that an arm was found as well, though it is unclear whether or not the severed body parts belong to the same person, NHPD Spokesman David Hartman said. It was revealed Thursday morning that there was a second arm in the plastic bag where the first arm was found. Both arms were missing their hands.
“We don’t know if these body parts have been here for a week, or for a month,” Hartman said at a Thursday press conference.
The victim has not been identified in any way at this point, and it is unknown if the two discoveries are related. Death investigators from the office of the chief medical examiner arrived yesterday to retrieve the severed body parts for testing, and they will lead the forensic elements of the investigation.
Forensic analysis from the chief medical examiner could take over 10 days to complete, but Hartman said at the press conference that it is unlikely that the two discoveries are unlinked.
“It would be incredibly disturbing if they were separate cases,” Hartman added.
Investigators have eliminated the possibility that the severed body parts were the result of a train accident. Hartman said it is likely the body parts were disposed of at their various locations, as opposed to the site of death being close to the railroad. It is also possible the victim died in another city.
Currently, the investigation is being led by the NHPD with help from Amtrak’s police department and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Should the case evolve to require additional jurisdictions, the NHPD will expand its investigation to include other police authorities.
Detectives in the department’s Missing Persons Bureau are working to identify pending or unresolved disappearances that may be related, in and outside of the jurisdiction. Anyone with knowledge of the incident is encouraged to contact the NHPD.