CHICAGO (AP) — A disturbing discovery in Illinois has led to a cross-state homicide investigation with ties to Kentucky.
Police say 30-year old Melvin Martin Jr. admitted to killing his girlfriend in Louisville and then dismembering her body. He said he dumped her torso in a Clifton Heights park and packed some of her other body parts, including internal organs, in a suitcase and a tote bag.
Last week, he traveled with the bags for more than five hours on a Greyhound bus to visit family in a Chicago suburb.
Martin's family apparently became suspicious after he didn't open his bags for several days.
“There were some early reports of a foul odor coming from the bags,” said Markham police Chief Terry White.
Tuesday, family members called police after they opened the suitcase and found the body parts. Police believe Martin killed and dismembered the woman more than a month ago.
“He indicated that, as grotesque as it might sound, he still wanted to be with her, at least a part of her,” said White.
Martin and the victim lived together in Louisville and had a history of domestic violence. With Martin's cooperation, Louisville police were able to find the rest of the victim's body in a park near their home. Neighbors say they had noticed the victim was missing and that Martin had recently been acting strangely.
Martin is in police custody in Illinois and may have an extradition hearing as early as Thursday before being sent back to Kentucky for prosecution.