New York police officers encountered a grisly scene inside an eighth-floor Brooklyn apartment Saturday, where they found a partially decapitated woman with severed fingers laying unresponsive in the living room.
Savannah Rivera, 20, also had multiple stab wounds and lacerations on her head, arms and body. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police have arrested 34-year-old Jerry Brown in connection with the killing, an NYPD news release said. Brown has been charged with one count of 2nd degree murder, one count of 2nd degree attempted murder and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, the NYPD said.
Police are still trying to determine a motive behind the incident.
A ‘brutal, vicious attack’
Rivera’s body was discovered after another woman who had fled the apartment flagged an Uber on the street and the driver — noticing that she was covered in blood — called police. The injured woman “suffered lacerations to her chest, arms, torso and a large laceration to her head,” an NYPD spokesman said. The woman’s 4-year-old daughter was found in the apartment’s bedroom, unharmed. She was taken to a local hospital for evaluation and is now with family members.
Authorities recovered an ax from a trash compactor at the public housing complex in the Bushwick neighborhood, and said it is part of the investigation. NYPD Brooklyn North Deputy Chief Michael Kemper said the murder weapon was a sharp object. But it is unclear whether the ax was used in the crime and Kemper said he couldn’t speak on the role it played.
Kemper called the attack “brutal” and “vicious” during a press conference Saturday, and said it was not random.
‘Good possibility’ this is domestic violence
Although the motive is unclear, Kemper said the department is confident they’re not looking for any other people related to the incident.
It is believed that the two women and Brown all knew each other, Kemper said, declining to speak on the nature of their relationship to one another. The two women were either friends or relatives, police said. The 21-year-old mother and her young daughter were living in the apartment and Rivera stayed with them, a police spokesman said. It’s not yet clear why or for how long she had been staying there.
Kemper said there’s a “good possibility” the case will be categorized as domestic violence.