The San Francisco Police Department says that they have a suspect in mind as they investigate the horrible discovery of a suitcase crammed with human remains in San Francisco's South of Market area Tuesday afternoon.
As previously reported, SFPD officers were called to 11th Street between Market and Mission Streets at 4:14 p.m. Wednesday on reports of a suspicious package.
SFPD spokesperson Officer Grace Gatpandan says that, as is typical in cases where explosives might be present, they immediately "shut down the area to vehicular and pedestrian traffic as a precautionary measure."
However, what police found wasn't a bomb — it was a wheeled suitcase containing human remains. According to the Chron, "one of the first arriving officers radioed in to a dispatcher that a witness had described seeing what 'looked like a cut-up body' in the suitcase."
A medical examiner was called to the scene, and confirmed the witnesses' assessment. The body parts were indeed human, gender and race currently unknown, Gatpandan says.
Following the discovery, Gatpandan says, "the surrounding area was canvased and more remains were located."
ABC7 reports that it was a torso that was found in the suitcase, and that the additional remains were discovered at Mission and 11th Streets. SFPD was not able to confirm that detail to SFist at publication time.
Most chillingly, Gatpandan says, "it is unclear at this time if all the remains belong to one victim."
Gatpandan told KTVU that investigators have pulled recordings from local security cameras, and that one produced footage that offered "a distinct description of a suspect."
"We do have people of interest that homicide investigators are speaking to, as well as using surveillance cameras," Gatpandan told ABC7.
However, citing the ongoing investigation, that was pretty much all she'd say regarding a suspect, "as officers are actively attempting to locate this particular person of interest."
In an email sent Thursday morning, Gatpandan had additional information on the suspect, saying that "There was a possible suspect description developed from witness and surveillance footage. Officers immediately went out and attempted to locate the person(s)."
"There were people located detained," she writes, "however they were released and not arrested for the crime. I will have a suspect description for you once it is available."
Despite (or perhaps because of) the lack of information, area residents remain understandably shaken.
"It took some time and consideration to take somebody and put them in a suitcase and make them fit in a suitcase," Justin Bell, who works at 10th and Mission Streets, told ABC7.
"It's horrible. I feel horrible."