NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Renowned forensic expert Dr. Henry Lee, perhaps best known for his work on the O.J. Simpson case, says the investigation into human body parts found in New Haven requires an eye for detail and a team effort from police, medical examiners, and forensic scientists. Everything will have to be checked, including the brush where the legs were found.
“Maybe other body parts also are in the water, so you have to search the surrounding area now,” said Lee.
Investigators will check the bag that an arm was found in for evidence, like pieces of hair. They’ll also try to figure out what kind of bag it is and where it might have come from.
“We can look at the arm, how that’s severed, and try to compare the tool mark, and that gives investigators an idea what type of an instrument to look for,” said Lee.
Besides looking at how the body parts were cut, scientists will be testing them for DNA and checking for fingerprints to try to identify them. They’ll also check the body parts for drugs and poisons, which could help determine the cause of death.
“It belongs more likely to the same individual,” said Lee.
Investigators will have to figure out how the body parts ended up in a busy area of New Haven. Lee, who’s not involved in this investigation, says in his experience, if body parts are found or if a body is cut up, it’s because someone is trying to get rid of it and doesn’t have a lot of space to store a body.
“Many times individuals live in a small location, let’s say an apartment, so they cannot keep the body,” said Lee.
Running fingerprints for a match can take about a day, if hands are in good shape. DNA can take two to three days.