LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Body parts found in suitcases at a home in northern Illinois are linked to a missing woman from Louisville, police in Illinois said Wednesday.
Police made the discovery after being called to a home in Markham, Illinois, which is in Cook County, just south of Chicago.
Markham Police Chief Terry White said a man, 30-year-old Melvin Martin Jr., transported the body parts of his 31-year-old girlfriend from a Greyhound bus station in Louisville to downtown Chicago. White said Martin told officers he still wanted to be with “at least part of her.”
“He indicated that, as grotesque as it might sound, he still wanted to be with her. At least part of her,” White said.
Family members reportedly told investigators they became suspicious about the suitcases when the man kept guarding the bags. When Martin left the house to go to the library, family members made the gruesome discovery. Media reports say Markham Police spent Tuesday at a house at 164th and Wood streets.
White told CBS Chicago that Martin had traveled to Kentucky several days ago but never unpacked. Martin reportedly made the five-hour bus trip with “two or three” pieces of heavy luggage.
“There were some early reports of foul odor coming from the bags,” White said, adding that the upper torso remains in Kentucky.
Police in Louisville aren’t confirming whether the body parts found in the suitcases are connected to a crime they believe happened in Kentucky, but the evidence may point to a woman reported missing in Louisville last week. Louisville Metro Police confirmed that a tip from the Markham Police Department on Tuesday led to the discovery of a homicide scene in Louisville’s Clifton Heights neighborhood. According to a release from LMPD spokesman Dwight Mitchell, Markham Police had information about a possible homicide that took place on North Hite Avenue, near Lindsay Avenue.
Mitchell said Wednesday evening that LMPD isn’t releasing any more information, and the investigation continues.
Investigators found several letters from the IRS in Martin’s baggage, and White said Martin was on the IRS website at the library when police arrived. Martin was arrested at the library, White said, and has cooperated with police. White said he was “remorseful.”
He remains in custody but has yet to be charged.
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