Officers were called to a residential area where city workers clearing a sidewalk of snow on December 29 discovered two suitcases which contained human remains.
Investigators made a plea to the public for information, but did not disclose that they had a massive lead in the case from the suitcases themselves.
Affixed to one of the suitcases was a baggage claim sticker from a recent United Airlines flight into Denver according to the affidavit filed by Detective Adam Golden. The sticker showed the passenger's last name to be "Satterthwait."
Unrelated to the investigation, officers were called to an apartment on a medical assistance call. Upon arriving, one individual was found to be already deceased in the apartment, and another individual was found unconscious and "suffering from a possible overdose situation."
The man was transported to the Swedish Medical Center in serious condition where his identity was later confirmed as 28-year-old Benjamin Satterthwait.
While handing the medical emergency, Detective Eric Bueno noted not only another black suitcase similar to the one in which the body parts had been dumped, but also what looked to be blood stains on various surfaces, black trash bags and mops indicating that the area had recently been cleaned. Bueno contacted Golden who was heading the dismemberment investigation.
After a search warrant was obtained for the apartment, additional items including a receipt for a hacksaw with two blades purchased from Walmart was recovered, along with the bodied hacksaw. A bank card belonging to 33-year-old Joshua Lockard was also recovered.
Based on images found on a social media profile for Lockard, he has tentatively been identified as the victim. A cause and manner of death has yet to be determined as the investigation is ongoing and some of his remains are unaccounted for at this time.
Satterthwaite has been charged with first degree murder and tampering with a deceased human body. He remains in custody at the Downtown Detention Center where he is being held without bond.
He is scheduled to be back in court on January 25 for what appears to be his arraignment.