Torso Washes Up on Mamk Beach: Police Seek Help on ID
by Judy Silberstein
(UPDATED MARCH 8; originally published March 4, 2007) Mamaroneck Village Police are looking for help in identifying the woman whose torso, stuffed in a suitcase, washed up on the Harbor Island Beach this weekend. The dark-colored suitcase was picked up on the sand by people strolling the beach Saturday afternoon, March 3 at 2:10 pm, according to Lt. James Gaffney of the Mamaroneck Police.
Anyone with any information to contribute is asked to call the Mamaroneck Police Department at (914) 777-7780.
Westchester County’s medical examiner has conducted an autopsy. “A homicide occurred,” said Lt. Gaffney, “and we’re reaching out to identify the woman.” Police do not have a missing person report corresponding to the murder victim.
“Someone knows the person,” said Lt. Gaffney, “we’re looking for that person – or those people – to come forward.” All calls to police will be treated as confidential, he stressed.
Police described the woman as Latina or light-skinned African-American, aged 35 to 50, around 5'4" to 5'6" tall and weighing approximately 180 to 200 pounds. The woman had a 1 ¼ inch tattoo of two cherries on a stem located on her chest above the right breast.
Mamaroneck detectives produced a flier written in English and Spanish and showing the tattoo. The believe part of the tattoo may have been recent, perhaps improving on an underlying tattoo. They have distributed the flier in area tattoo parlors and received information from tattoo artists and their clientele.
On Monday, Mamaroneck Police released new photographs of clothing found inside the suitcase: a shirt (above) and a pair of pants (below).
Police now believe the woman had been dead for approximately a week before her remains were discovered. According to Lt. Gaffney, "This department has reached out to the FBI, the District Attorney’s Office, Westchester County Department of Public Safety, and New York State Police to coordinate a thorough investigation." As of Thursday evening, however, no positive identification has been made.
One possibility the police are investigating is that strong river currents during Friday’s flood could have deposited the suitcase into the Mamaroneck Harbor. It’s also possible that the suitcase washed in from Long Island Sound.
On Monday, a dive unit from the Mount Pleasant Police Department canvassed the docks and other areas around the perimeter of the harbor to see if there was additional remains of the victim or other evidence.
"We're receiving a number of calls, and following all leads," said Detective Sergeant Robert Holland. "There's been nothing yet that has turned up conclusive."