MARKHAM, Ill. (CBS) — A man was charged as a fugitive out of Kentucky, after police said he killed and dismembered his girlfriend and hauled her body parts in suitcases all the way to south suburban Markham.
Police said Melvin Martin Jr., 30, packed his girlfriend’s body parts in bags and brought the remains on a Greyhound bus to visit family in Markham.
While it is disturbing enough that Martin is accused of traveling with body parts, the reason Martin told police he brought his girlfriend’s remains to Illinois are more shocking still.
“He indicated that, as grotesque as it might sound, that he still wanted to be with at least part of her,” said Markham police Chief Terry White.
As CBS 2’s Jermont Terry reported, police on Wednesday provided some of the gruesome details of the murder. They said with certainty that the crime happened in Louisville, Kentucky but came to light in Markham.
Detectives believe the girlfriend was killed at least 30 days ago.
On Wednesday evening, pieces of the woman’s body were in Illinois, while the other half was found in Kentucky. Investigators said Martin told them where to find the rest of his girlfriend’s body.
Investigators discovered her torso in a park late Wednesday afternoon.
The investigation shows that after Martin committed the murder, he stuffed his girlfriend’s head, lower torso, and organs into three bags, police said.
Police said Martin boarded the Greyhound bus in Louisville, traveling more than five hours with the body parts to the Chicago Greyhound station at 630 W. Harrison St.
His family picked him up and brought him – and those bags – to his mother’s house at 164th and Wood streets in Markham.
Chief White insisted the family did not realize what was in the bags. But after a few days, it became odd when Martin never unpacked – but kept guarding the suitcases for five days.
“There were some early reports of a foul odor coming from the bags,” White said Tuesday.
CBS 2’s Terry obtained the recordings from when Martin’s mother called 911. It is a call a mother never expects to make, but this mother felt compelled to do so about a mysterious package.
Dispatcher: “Ma’am what type of package is it? Was it in your mailbox?”
Caller: “No, I picked my son up. He’s from Kentucky. I picked him up ’cause he was coming home. He was having a hard time, but he took this suitcase in my garage. I just took him to library and I said, let me see what’s in this suitcase.”
Martin’s mother described to the dispatcher the gruesome discovery she made.
Caller: “I had my guy pull it down and it looks like it’s body in there.”
Martin remained locked up at the Markham police station Wednesday night, charged with leaving the scene of a crime. Kentucky detectives came to Markham as they worked to get him extradited.
Police said Martin had prior domestic arrests.