Human head found in shopping cart at suspect’s home in East New York, Brooklyn, police say

EAST NEW YORK, Brooklyn (WABC) – Police have arrested a person of interest in the death of a woman whose torso was found in a shopping cart in Brooklyn last week, and detectives are executing a search warrant at the home of the suspect made the macabre discovery of a human head.

They also found an electric saw in the suspect’s apartment in East New York.

Harvey Marcelin, 83, who served two prison sentences for killing two different girlfriends, has since been charged with second degree murder and concealment of a human corpse.

Marcelin was arrested on March 4, the day after the torso was found, and has been held without bond ever since at Rikers Island.

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The limbless torso was found on Pennsylvania and Atlantic avenues in a multicolored bag in an abandoned shopping cart on March 3.

Then, on March 7, what is believed to be the same woman’s leg was found in trash on nearby Jamaica Avenue.

Police believe the victim is a 68-year-old woman seen on surveillance video entering Marcelin’s apartment near the crime scene on February 27.

Marcelin, who is transgender and identifies as female, was seen leaving the apartment three days later with a bag believed to contain his torso.

Marcelin spent more than 50 years behind bars and was released from state prison in August 2019 and is on parole for life.

On April 18, 1963, Marcelin fatally shot a girlfriend in Manhattan and was later convicted of murder, paroled for life in May 1984.

Then, on November 2, 1985, Marcelin fatally stabbed another girlfriend, also in Manhattan.

His body was found in a bag near Central Park, and Marcelin was convicted of manslaughter and then released on parole for life in August 2019.

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The first officer at the scene of that 1985 murder was Robert Boyce, who became the NYPD’s Chief of Detectives and is now an ABC News contributor.

“He dismembers the body and puts it on the street not far from his house,” Boyce said. “I don’t care how old he is, if it was a humanitarian release because of his age. He’s still dangerous.”
Police are investigating whether there may be other potential victims since his release.

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Peggy P. Gilmore