Grisly Homicide Stuns Linden (Updated)

(Updated at 1:00 p.m. April 6, 2010)
LINDEN—Sanitation workers found garbage bags containing two dismembered human bodies on Monday,  about one week after Councilman Derek Armstead said that crime rates would be lower if more police lived in town.

Municipal public works employees made the gruesome discovery at the corner of Essex and Cranford avenues while investigating a complaint about illegal garbage dumping. City police verified that the remains were human and notified the Union County Prosecutor’s Office.


Authorities have identified the victims, but are not releasing the names until they are able to identify and notify family members.  Police are considering the deaths as Linden’s first homicides of the year, but the victims could have been killed elsewhere.

Autopsies were conducted on Monday, but the medical examiner has so far been unable to determine how long the victims were dead before the bodies were found. One victim is a Hispanic man between ages 30-35, authorities said. The other is a woman of undetermined age and race.

According to neighborhood residents, the bags had been at the corner since sometime last week, possibly as early as Wednesday night.

Neither Union County Prosecutor Theodore Romankow nor Linden Police Chief Michael Boyle had any information yesterday about any people missing in Linden.

“Police and other municipal employees responsible for public safety should be required to live in the city,” Armstead said last week, noting that most officers live outside the community that are paid to protect.

Armstead addressed the issue after Police Chief Michael Boyle attended a community meeting in response to a rash of home invasion robberies, which was held the same night two men robbed a pizza deliveryman on Clinton Street.

Another murdered Linden resident — Jack Zych, a taxi driver for Joan’s Transportation — was found two weeks ago inside his vehicle in Roselle.
The slayings are being investigated by local police departments and the Union County Homicide Task Force.
Authorities are asking anyone with information about the latest homicides to call the Union County Prosecutor’s Office at 1-908-527-4500, Linden Police Department at 1-908-474-8500 or Union County Crimestoppers at 1-908-654-TIPS. Union County Crimestoppers is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of people responsible for the homicide.

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