Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Updating: Body of dismembered, decapitated man found inside residence on Houston and Suffolk

[Photos by Stacie Joy]

Story is updated at the bottom of this post. On July 17, police arrested the victims former personal assistant in the crime.

Media and police sources are reporting that the body of a decapitated, dismembered man in his 30s was found inside an apartment at 265 E. Houston St. on the corner of Suffolk.

Per the Post:

An electric saw was found near the body, which was described as a man in his 30s. The victim’s legs and arms were completely removed, and body parts were found in plastic bags found in the apartment, the sources said.

And from NBC 4...

The 10-floor building, completed in 2017, features units ranging from $2.45 million to $2.55 million, per previous real-estate listings.

Updated 6:45 p.m.

[Leslie Feinberg]

EVG correspondent Stacie Joy spoke to Leslie Feinberg, who owns Subject bar across Suffolk Street. Feinberg says that she saw the following transpire at around 3:30 p.m.: "a young woman, maybe late teens or early 20s sitting in the lobby crying, talking to about five or six officers. She was in there for about 30 to 45 minutes before a team of 20-plus law enforcement officers arrived and loaded her into a vehicle and took off."

The woman was identified by police and media sources as the victim's sister, who went to check on her brother after not hearing from him.

A police sergeant at the scene told Stacie that the "preliminary investigation is ongoing, looking to review video cameras, and the crime scene is still being processed." He confirmed that "a male torso was found in the apartment unit with his head, arms and legs removed."

Updated 9:45 p.m.

Details from the account in the Times. The 33-year-old victim was also believed to be the owner of the condo unit.

As for the grisly crime scene:

When detectives began investigating, they found the man’s torso and an electric saw nearby, two of the officials said. The man’s head and limbs were later found in the apartment, a Police Department spokesman said.

There were several plastic bags nearby, and it appeared that some effort had been made to clean up the evidence of what had happened, one of the officials said.

The man, Fahim Saleh (see updates below), was last seen alive in video surveillance on Monday afternoon. And the police have it least one lead:

One of the law enforcement officials said a surveillance camera had captured video of the victim on the elevator with another person who was wearing a black suit and a black mask.

On the video, the elevator door opens and victim goes into the apartment, the official said. The masked person follows the victim, going in right behind him, and the two immediately start to struggle, the official said.

Updated 7/15

The Daily Mail reported that the victim was Fahim Saleh, a millionaire tech entrepreneur who moved into his the seventh-floor residence late last year.

Background on Saleh via the Mail:

His LinkedIn profile reveals the former website developer was the CEO of a motorbike hailing company in Lagos, Nigeria.

The firm, Gokada, recently faced severe setbacks after being banned earlier this year by the Nigerian government.

It was forced to lay off staff and pivot from being a ride-sharing service to a delivery courier.

The ban came at a difficult moment for Gokada which had just raised $5.3 million in funding from Rise Capital, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm, in May 2019.

Media outlets have described the suspect as a professional killer. He was reportedly also carrying a suitcase on the elevator. Police believe that the victim's sister may have interrupted the dismembering of Saleh's body. "Detectives are also looking to see if the killer was able to escape through another exit," per the Mail.

Updated July 19

Police have arrested Saleh's personal assistant, who is expected to be charged in the murder.

According to the Times, the assistant is Tyrese Devon Haspil, 21.

Detectives believe that the motive for the killing stemmed from Mr. Saleh having discovered that the assistant had stolen tens of thousands of dollars from him, despite the fact that Mr. Saleh had not reported the man and had set up what amounted to a repayment plan for him to return the money, one of the officials said.


Anonymous said...

Wow that is a real whodunit case. They must have killed the poor guy and then tried to dismember the body to take the body parts out of the building without being observed because that building has security cameras all over the lobby. It had to be someone who knew the guy cause that building has pretty good security. Hope the cops catch who did it.

Anonymous said...

Jeebus, how horrific!

Anonymous said...

That explains the helicopters I was hearing in the late afternoon!

Anonymous said...

Wondering if this professional hit is connected to the very recent arrest of Nigerian internet hacker superstar Hushpuppi ?????

Giovanni said...

This is such a tragedy, The victim was a smart successful entrepreneur, whose last venture was a motorcycle ride sharing company in Nigeria which was suddenly shut down after the Nigerian government banned motorcycle ride sharing, but before this he had made millions from launching a prank phone call app. Today the Houston Street Horridor really lived up to its name.

This murder looks and sounds like a professional hit job, but who would go to all the trouble of ordering such a thing? An angry investor? Or was it personal? The perp reportedly followed the victim into the elevator wearing a mask and gloves and carrying a suitcase, which may have had the electric saw inside. After shooting or stunning the victim and cutting up his body apparently the killer had to flee the scene through a rear service exit before he could stuff the body into the suitcase. He had to flee when the victims sister arrived to check on her brother. Such a horrible ending to a promising life.

bill said...

What's the purpose of having a police helicopter flying over a crime scene? Has a crime ever been solved by one of them? Anyone know of a cost/benefit analysis?
Cost: $zillion$
Benefit: nada

Anonymous said...

I feel sorry for his sister; for her to walk in & see that would be unspeakably traumatic.

Anonymous said...

If people don't think NY is regressing to an earlier decade I refer you to the famous 1980s Post headline "Headless Body in Topless Bar".

Condolences to the family, and a prayer for Mr. Saleh. May his killer be swiftly found and brought to justice.

noble neolani said...

Nobody deserves to die like this. I believe there is a long complex back story to this, someone with money and power was crossed or lost a lot of money and hired a hit man. If I were a business partner or have ties to the victim I would be very nervous right now. One doesn't naturally think of tech companies getting mixed up with shoddy organizations but my guess that is what happened here.

Anonymous said...

I was reminded of the Michael Alig/Angel Melendez incident when I first read about this.

RIP. This is so tragic and I hope the killer gets identified.

Jason said...

Bill - I would agree for the most part. Even if the murderer escaped through an exit other than the units main door there is nothing than a helicopter could do to find them unless there was a detailed description and direction of where they went. Seemingly, neither of those were known immediately.

Anonymous said...

This is horrific and unimaginable. All of the details here resembles a horror film or a murder mini-series. And to think this happened in our neighborhood. This is such a macabre, grisly death. I can't wrap my mind around this. Only someone calculated, evil, and without a conscience could commit such a dark act against another human being. I keep thinking about this murderer who hopped on the elevator with a mask and a suitcase. It literally gives me chills. That poor sister who had to discover him in such a state also. I would have been catatonic and in need of a sedative. How does one recover from seeing such a thing, especially that of a relative? I hope the authorities find and arrest this monster who needs to pay for his crime!! RIP to this very young man who still had his whole life in front of him. Damn. NYC is reverting to the 80's with spikes of crime and murder. Scary times. Be safe everyone!

Sarah said...

Weird to treat this as part of the "decline of the neighborhood" when from the description it seems almost certain that this was not a crime of opportunity nor arising from personal disputes in the neighborhood.

That poor woman!

Anonymous said...

Weird to be concerned about police helicopters when someone lost their life.

Giovanni said...

@10:30am. I remember the Michael Alig Club Kid murder case well, too well as a matter of fact because the New York tabloid media became obsessed with the case and turned Michael Alig into such a big household name that he was portrayed by Macaulay Culkin in the movie Party Monster. There were endless episodes of Dateline and other TV crime shows about him because for some twisted reason we always seem to glorify the killers (Manson, Dahmler, Bundy, Berkowitz etc.) and forget about the victims unless they were famous like Sharon Tate, whose character Quentin Tarantino used as Oscar bait in his last movie.

The same thing happened with Andrew Cunanan, the serial killer who murdered Gianni Versace only to become a major celebrity after he died, complete with an Emmy award winning miniseries last year. My hope is that this case does not create yet another cottage industry of true crime writers cashing in on the tragedy, but I’m sure someone is already writing the first draft of American Crime Story: The Coronavirus Killer without a thought about the suffering that Fahim Saleh’s family and friends are going through. My thoughts and prayers are with them now.

Jill W said...

@Giovanni, regarding True Crime Stories, they are extremely popular with the public and therefore network executives. So there's no reason to think this case won't be exploited like all the others you mentioned.

Regarding the helicopters, I think one can simultaneously be concerned and sad that a person was murdered, and still question the utility of police helicopters in this instance. I'd be interested to know the official justification. From the little details known, I agree that helicopters hovering over a crime scene in which the killer had likely fled long prior seems like a waste. But it's early to know all the timeline facts.

For example did the sister/cousin really interrupt the killer? Or did she or someone call for help when the victim wasn't responding after hours/days, etc? I'm sure we'll all find out more when the True Crime machine gets its teeth in this.

Anonymous said...

The only helicopters I saw were from the TV stations — NBC and ABC. There weren't any police copters that I'm aware (and I had a view from not far away).

Anonymous said...

I live nearby and saw news helicopters, though there could have been a police helicopter further back that I didn’t see. It would be standard and smart procedure to have eyes up above scanning for a suspect. They had video and likely a description from the doorman pretty quickly Given that the relative interrupted a crime in progress. It’s terrifying to think someone capable of doing this was in our neighborhood. I can fault the police for a lot, but I want them deploying every resource they have available to catch this killer.

Anonymous said...

They were tv helicopters.

Anonymous said...

News Helicopters should be outlawed.

Anonymous said...

Well put neighbor, agree. What an evil act. We pray for the victim, his family, and for justice to be dealt to the criminal.

Anonymous said...

Police chopper could have captured aerial video or carried a stingray

Probably useless but worth considering

Anonymous said...

Kirk Eady, the former deputy director of Hudson County Correctional Facility, was sentenced to 21 months in prison in Sept. 2015 for “illegally wiretapping” employees critical of his job performance. Eady has an ongoing lawsuit against Saleh and others for misleading him about the legality of the app, which he used to secretly monitor his critics.

Will there be a real investigation? or a cover-up?