A man dismembered his handyman, put his remains in trash bags and left them in his backyard for months, police say. The man eventually called police and told them he “discovered” the remains, but later changed his story and said he killed the handyman in a fit of rage, according to police and court documents.
The remains were found Friday, Feb. 3, at a home in northeast Washington, D.C., Metropolitan police said in a news release Thursday, Feb. 16.
The suspect was charged with second-degree murder Thursday after officials determined he tased and beat a handyman to death on or near Nov. 4, 2022 while he was working on his home, according to court documents.
Police said the suspect first called them on Feb. 3 to report finding a decomposed, headless, “mummified” body in a black plastic trash bag in his backyard, court documents said. The body showed signs of cutting, and appeared to have been in the yard for around two to three months.
The man’s death was determined to be suspicious, so police requested a search warrant for the rest of the yard and began investigating.
In the days following the discovery, police found evidence of cleaned up blood in the suspect’s basement apartment — which was in a home he shared with his sister and her daughter — as well as a taser, brass knuckles and a knife.
About a week and a half later, on Wednesday, Feb. 15, the suspect’s sister called police to tell them her brother wanted to “turn himself in” and “talk about what happened,” court documents said. The suspect then told investigators that the remains belonged to the handyman.
Later that day, the suspect told officials he killed the handyman Nov. 4 after he got angry with him, court documents said. He told investigators that he felt “angry and upset for unknown reasons, as if a black cloud was over his head” before blacking out and tasing the handyman in the head.
The handyman fell to the floor, and the suspect began to punch and kick him before dragging his body to the basement, the documents said. Once in the basement, the suspect said he stabbed the handyman.
After realizing the handyman was dead, the suspect said he panicked, so he went to Ace Hardware and purchased an ax because he wanted to “get rid of evidence,” documents said. The suspect used the ax to decapitate the handyman and cut off his arms.
The suspect then put the handyman’s head and arms in the trash and put the remaining body parts in another trash bag, according to the documents. He put one trash bag in his backyard; the other was unknowingly picked up by the city’s trash service.
The suspect told police he was “not in his right mind” while he attacked the handyman. His sister told officers that he is “mentally challenged” and “sometimes slow to respond when questioned.”
The man’s sister told police she met the handyman about five years ago. She said she hired him to do work on the house from time to time, but the last she heard from him was in November, when he never showed up for a job and stopped responding to her messages.
The suspect is detained without bond until a preliminary hearing on March 29.
This story was initially posted February 19, 2023, 2:04 PM.