2 beheaded bodies found in Detroit River

2:01 PM, Jul 17, 2012   |    comments
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Detroit River - from Free Press

(DETROIT FREE PRESS) - Hollis Fussell of Detroit made a gruesome discovery this morning along the Detroit River - a saw and the body parts of a man and woman whose torsos were found floating nearby.

Fussell had made his way to his regular fishing spot off Alter Park when the heating and air conditioning business owner and property investor spotted the body parts.

At 10 a.m., a white leg with polished toenails, two other white legs, a yellow-handled cordless circular saw, a brown suitcase and a sheet still lay on the sandy bottom of the Detroit River, in about 3 feet of crystal clear water where the river meets Lake St. Clair.

"That was a gruesome sight," said Fussell, a few hundred feet down the shore this morning as police worked the scene. "Ain't that ugly. It wasn't a nice sight for me, trying to sit down and enjoy my fishing. We know the city is rough, but man 'o man."

Police believe the parts belong to two torsos discovered earlier in the river and a canal near where Alter Road ends at the water.

"This isn't just 'I'll kill you,'" said Detroit Police Eastern District Commander Steve Dolunt, standing along the shore in the overgrown, abandoned park. "This is vicious."

The Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office is on the scene, along with Detroit Police investigators and officers from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

A U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officer was on routine patrol in a vehicle onshore at about 6:30 a.m. when the first body was spotted in Fox Creek, just off the Detroit River, U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Justin Westmiller said. The body was floating near an abandoned park on the city's east side.

The second body was spotted shortly after, about 7:15 a.m., nearby in the Detroit River, Westmiller said.

"The (Coast Guard) boat crew came across the second one as they were responding to the first," Westmiller said. "Both bodies were found without hands, feet or heads. They were clearly cut off."

Westmiller did not know how long the bodies appeared to have been in the water. The Detroit Police Homicide Unit is now handling the investigation, he said.

"We did the recovery, but we immediately turned it over," Westmiller said.

Fussell spotted the body parts in the clear water and police were called a short time later.

The Detroit Police dive team went into the river at around noon to recover the body parts. Sgt. Shawn Wesley of the department's Office of Homeland Security said they'll mark the parts underwater using a global positioning system, then recover them.

Detroit Police Department spokesman Sgt. Eren Stephens said just before noon that the department had not received any information about the identities of the pair or if anyone had been reported missing that might be linked to the case.

"There are people reported missing every day," she said.

Detroit Free Press

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