Missing Woman Found “in suitcases and plastic bags strewn throughout a Bronx neighborhood” [UPDATE]

Police have identified the victim as Tania Byrd, a 45-year-old woman who has been missing since the weekend. They think Byrd was dismembered at her Westchester Avenue apartment and they have a suspect in custody who has made statements implicating himself, NBC 4 New York has learned.

Sources have said Byrd’s son, who called police to report her missing Tuesday morning, was being questioned Tuesday.

Law enforcement officials tell NBC 4 New York that the man walking his dog along 158th Street in Morrisania came upon a plastic bag of what he thought were books. As he moved to open the bag, he noticed a gray Dodge Charger circling the block, so he took the bag around the corner and looked inside, finding two hands and a shoulder.

He sent his son to call police and continued walking the dog. About two blocks away on Eagle Avenue he and the dog came upon a suitcase, and the dog sat down next to it. The man opened the suitcase and found a woman’s torso, wearing a bra, according to law enforcement officials.

Responding police found a plastic bag further down Eagle Avenue that contained a leg and a foot, and then nearby on Cauldwell Avenue, they found a black suitcase with a leg and the woman’s head.

Suspect in Custody for Killing, Dismembering Bronx Woman. NBCNewYork.com, 2/26/2013.


The son [Bashid McLean] charged with murdering and dismembering his mother’s body allegedly posed with his mother’s severed head in a photo taken on his cellphone.

The Daily News reports 23-year-old Bashid McLean appears “almost gleeful” in the disturbing photo.

He has reportedly confessed to the charges and has been placed on suicide watch.

Bashid McLean Poses With Mother Tanya Byrd’s Decapitated Head In New York City (PHOTO). HuffPo New York, 3/1/2013.

McLean was charged with murder as well as unlawful dissection of a human body and hindering prosecution. His friend, William Harris, was also charged with unlawful dissection of a human body and hindering prosecution (plus criminal possession of stolen property and unlawful possession of marijuana). Both men accuse the other in the murder. From NBC New York:

Officials say the two men tell different stories. The son says he left the apartment he shared with his mother at about 3 a.m. Monday to go to the ATM. When he returned, he has told investigators, his friend had stabbed Byrd to death and threatened to kill him and his 6-year-old brother if he didn’t help get rid of the body.

His friend, meanwhile, has told investigators that the son told him he killed his mother, and showed him a photograph of her, dead, asking for his friend’s help in disposing of her corpse. The two suspects agree that they went to a Bronx hardware store to purchase supplies for the job, including a power saw and gloves. Investigators say there are bloodstains at the apartment, and that it appears someone tried to clean up the mess with bleach.

Son Accused Of Killing, Dismembering Mother Insists, “I Didn’t Do Anything Wrong!” Gothamist, 3/1/2013.


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