Even though the prime suspect in the case of the dismembered body found stuffed in a suitcase on January 28 died over the weekend, the SFPD assures us all that the investigation is ongoing, and everyone is still eagerly awaiting a cause of death and a positive ID of the victim by the medical examiner.
Unfortunately, with Andrus's death likely goes the whole story of how he, allegedly, came to be toting a suitcase of human remains into SoMa, presumably from his stomping grounds in the Tenderloin.
The medical examiner will also be releasing an official cause of death for Andrus, but according to KTVU, a source at the SFPD is saying it was "gastrointestinal bleeding and shock." Since it seems clear that Andrus had been a drug addict much of his adult life, many were quick to assume that drugs played a role in killing him during the four days between his release from police custody and his death on Saturday, but the sequence of events and type of drug have not been released.
Police spokesperson Monica McDonald says that search also continues for the missing head and hands that were attached to the body that was discovered, none of which have yet been found. The case remains unclassified as a homicide until a cause of death can be determined.
There is still a strong possibility that the victim was Andrus's longtime friend and onetime roommate 58-year-old Omar Shahwan of Vallejo. Shahwan, who unlike Andrus remained close with family and did not always stay in San Francisco, went missing a week before the suitcase appeared next to the Goodwill on 11th Street, according to family members.
Mark Keever, who lived at the Tenderloin apartment complex where Andrus was detained, and who often let Andrus and Shahwan sleep at his apartment, says he still doesn't believe was guilty of the murder. It also sounds like Andrus was not a man of many words, especially where this case was concerned. Keever told ABC 7 that after his release last Tuesday, Andrus came back to his place, said "Yeah, I didn't do it, I don't know what the problem was," and asked for a sleeping bag so that he could go back out on the streets. That was the last Keever apparently saw of his friend.
Andrus had apparently told Public Defender Jeff Adachi, after being returned to his Tenderloin crash pad, that he planned to stay in San Francisco.