GRAPHIC: Headless torso in freezer, bloody power saw found in bus at New Orleans man’s home, court documents say
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE/Gray News) - Detectives found a woman’s headless torso stuffed in a freezer and a hidden power saw with bits of flesh on its blade Tuesday, police said in court documents filed Wednesday.
Law enforcement searched a man’s Ninth Ward residence as part of an investigation into a woman’s disappearance, police said in court documents filed Wednesday.
WARNING: Details in this story/video may be disturbing.
The gruesome details were contained in an arrest warrant affidavit for 34-year-old Benjamin Beale, who was booked with obstruction of justice in a death investigation and several drug and weapons charges after refusing to answer questions about the dismembered corpse during an interview at police headquarters.
Beale has not been charged with a homicide or with any crime related to the disappearance of 36-year-old Julia Dardar. But the court documents confirm what Dardar’s family members told WVUE: That the NOPD executed a search warrant of Beale’s property in hopes of finding clues about the missing woman who recently lived there with Beale.
Dardar was reported missing Dec. 23 by her estranged husband, who told police she had addiction and mental health issues and had moved in with Beale.
Beale told an officer who visited the house that he had not seen the woman since Dec. 16, and that he believed she was suicidal because she had moved out without taking her belongings or car. It was then that Beale suggested that he should report the woman as missing, the affidavit said.
Beale agreed to meet with police again Jan. 5 and told them this time that he had not spoken to Julia Dardar since Dec. 12. He said they had been in the process of ending their co-habitation “due to her drug habits,” and suggested that she might have committed suicide or overdosed in a part of the abandoned U.S. Naval Support station known to street drug users as “The End of the World.”
Beale told detectives he had not reported the woman as missing sooner because he had lost his cell phone and had no way to contact police.
Six days later, on Tuesday, detectives executed a search warrant to seek clues to Dardar’s disappearance at Beale’s property. A padlocked bus sitting in the back yard with extension cords providing power to its interior drew their attention, the court document said.
The detectives entered the bus and found the power cords providing electricity to a deep freezer placed aboard the bus.
“Upon opening the lid of the freezer, investigators observed the headless torso of what appeared to be an adult human female,” the affidavit said. “A deep linear cut was visible along the left shoulder/upper arm area, which appeared to have been inflicted post-mortem.”
The court document said detectives also found nearby a Coleman ice chest containing a reciprocating saw, “which appeared to have bits of flesh and fluid on the blade surface. A plastic face shield, goggles and additional garbage bags were also located in close proximity to the freezer.”
Beale was taken to police headquarters, where he refused to make any further statement.
He was booked with obstruction of justice in a death investigation, illegal carrying of a weapon in the presence of controlled dangerous substances, distribution of methamphetamine, possession with the intent to distribute marijuana, and two counts of creating/operating a clandestine drug lab, according to court records.
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