A nationwide review of missing persons is in effect after a pair of severed human legs was discovered near a train station in downtown New Haven on Wednesday, with police searching to identify the victim.
A passer-by found the legs in an overgrown area near the State Street Railroad station late Wednesday morning and notified a nearby police officer, said Officer David Hartman, spokesman for the New Haven Police.
The man, who works in downtown New Haven, said he noticed a strong odor while walking from the train station earlier this week and wondered if it was coming from the area where the legs were found.
An arm was found later, on a ledge below a bridge. The department’s Major Crimes Division was called in, prompting the closure of the station and nearby streets. Police said it appeared as though the legs had been there for about a week.
“We have brought in cadaver dogs as part of the investigation and are collecting soil samples from the thick foliage where the body parts were found,” Hartman said.
Officer Hartman added it was unclear if the limbs were related.
Investigators are cross-checking a nationwide database of missing persons cases as part of the investigation, he said, adding the age, gender, and ethnicity of the victim are not yet known.
“We don’t know at this point by looking at the evidence, we found whether the person is white, black, hispanic, male, female, no indication of age,” Officer Hartman said.
“Sometimes we’ve had people who are dismembered, if in fact that’s the case, this could happen to try and throw investigators off as to where a person is and who a person is,” Hartman added.
A spokeswoman for the Office of the Chief State Medical Examiner said late Wednesday it is taking part in the investigation, but provided no further details to the New York Post.