CYPRESS HILLS, Brooklyn (PIX11) — Police investigating the discovery of a woman’s torso on a Brooklyn street last week found a human head inside the suspect’s home, according to a criminal complaint obtained by PIX11 News on Thursday.
Police arrested Harvey Marcelin, 83, in connection with the case. Marcelin, a transgender woman who has two prior convictions for murder and manslaughter, was initially charged with concealment of a human corpse, the complaint said. She was indicted on a second-degree murder charge on Thursday.
Police found the dismembered torso hidden inside a large bag in a shopping cart near the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and Atlantic Avenue in Cypress Hills on March 3. Police have not yet identified the woman. The Office of the Medical Examiner will determine her cause of death.
According to the criminal complaint, the victim was seen on surveillance video entering Marcelin’s residence on Feb. 27 while rolling a multi-colored bag featuring a flower decal. The victim was never seen on surveillance video leaving the residence.
Surveillance video also showed Marcelin leaving the home with the same bag on March 2 and leaving it at the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and Atlantic Avenue, per the complaint. When police carried out a search warrant at Marcelin’s home, they found a human head, according to the complaint.
Whitney Wade, who works in Marcelin’s building, was shocked by the news. Wade said Marcelin was “pretty pleasant.”
Marcelin was released on parole in 2019 after serving a prison sentence on a manslaughter conviction in 1986, New York State inmate records show. Marcelin also served a prison sentence for murder from 1963 through 1984.
On Monday, a human leg severed at the knee was found inside a tire just a few blocks away in the same neighborhood, authorities said. Police did not say whether the two cases were connected.
PIX11’s Aliza Chasan contributed to this report.