Man travels with body parts in suitcase

Melvin Martin Jr., 30, of Louisville, Kentucky. [Image credit: Markham Police Department]

30-year-old Melvin Martin Jr is expected to appear in an Illinois court today for an extradition hearing which would send him back to Louisville, Kentucky for a charge of murder.


"A few days ago" Martin arrived in Chicago on a Greyhound bus to visit family in Markham. "He brought with him luggage – two, three bags" Markham Police Chief Terry White said.


Family became suspicious when he reportedly asked them for clothing on several occasions but would not unpack his suitcase and seemed to guard it protectively.


Tuesday morning Martin left his relatives' home to go to the library.  While he was away, one of the family members gave in to curiosity and opened one of the bags he had been guarding.


“A human body part was discovered,” White said. “They immediately backed away and called police.”


Martin was taken into custody at the library and booked as a fugitive fleeing prosecution.  Officers from Louisville as well as federal agents arrived, and Martin is said to have begun cooperating with investigators after initially resisting, and revealed where the upper torso of the woman could be found.


Police reportedly recovered the torso yesterday from a park near where Martin lived with his 31-year-old girlfriend.


Police have not yet released the identity of the victim.  Markham police stated that they are awaiting confirmation of the identity through dental records as one of the body parts that had been transported was her head.


White stated that they believe the death resulted from a domestic assault that occurred at least a month ago.


“He indicated as grotesque as it may sound, he still wanted to be with her at least part of her,” White said.


"Without their cooperation in this case our investigation would have been greatly hampered," said White.