Body parts found in garbage bags in NJ

April 5, 2010 7:00:25 PM PDT
Body parts were discovered in plastic garbage bags on the side of a residential street in Linden, New Jersey, Monday.The gruesome discovery was made by sanitation workers on Essex Avenue, near Cranford Avenue, just before noon.

Police say the bags contained the bodies of a man and a woman who had been chopped up. People in the neighborhood are wondering if they will ever feel safe again.

"I'm upset, I'm very upset," homeowner Carol Thomas-Garretson said.

Thomas Garretson said the bags had been lying on the curb next to her home since last Thursday. But with the Easter holiday, she didn't call to have them removed until Monday.

"I called Public Works this morning and told them that there was some illegal bags that was up there that flies were coming off of," she said.

And what attracted those flies stunned workers and police officers who routinely respond to illegal dumping calls.

"Inside the bags were found to be two bodies, a male and a female," Union County prosecutor Theodore Romankow said. "The bodies were in various state of dismemberment."

The prosecutor says so far, the identities of the victims and the causes of death are unknown. Autopsies, which are under way, have revealed a few clues.

"The male has been a Hispanic male, age 30 to 35 years," Romankow said.

The prosecutor says the woman is believed to be Caucasian or Hispanic.

As the investigation continues, residents say they won't soon forget what someone attempted to throw out with the trash.

"You walk out of your house, and you you see a body," resident Elijah Johnson said. "That's very disturbing to me. Nobody, no human being should have to go through that."

Romankow is hoping autopsy results, which are due back Tuesday morning, will shed more light on the crime.