Human legs found in downtown New Haven, Connecticut


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — New Haven police confirm that they have located the remains of human legs near the train tracks at the corner of State and Court Streets.

Just after 11:20 a.m., police responded to the area near the State Street train station on a report of human remains found. People in the area said they saw body parts very close to the train tracks.

Witnesses say the remains were found between State Street itself and the train tracks in some bushes. In those bushes is a chain link fence to prevent people and animals from getting down to the train tracks. Near that fence is where the bottom part of two human legs were found, startling Pablo Rivera and his friend on Monday.

“He started screaming, ‘hey, come here, I think I found something, two human legs, come here I want to make sure it is real,’” Rivera said.

He alerted police on Monday, but officials couldn’t find anything.

“The officers called it in. They had the fire department respond as well,” said New Haven Police Department public information officer David Hartman. “I don’t know what tools were used, but if you didn’t know what you were looking for and you didn’t have someone there to point out where they were talking about, it would be almost a futile search.”

Rivera went back to the police with pictures on Wednesday.

“I come here today and still there the legs,” he said. “I had take the picture and I go to the police again and showed the picture.”

The New Haven Major Crimes Division spent the day combing the area collecting evidence and taking pictures. Police did not recover any more body parts. As of 4:45 p.m., the legs were removed from the scene, bagged, and taken by the State Medical Examiner’s office for forensic testing. Investigators don’t know the gender or race or age of the of the victim.

“These legs have been here or at least in their condition for some time; I’m told over a week,” said Hartman.

The police department will now rely on the expertise of the Medical Examiner’s office. Police say this case needs to be looked at beyond the border of New Haven.

“We have to involve investigators and especially missing persons investigators from other jurisdictions as well,” Hartman said.

Investigators remain in the area. State Street is closed northbound between Chapel Street and Grand Avenue. Traffic is being diverted around the area. Southbound traffic on State Street is open.

Court Street is closed between State Street and Olive Street. New Haven police did not provide an estimate as to when the roads will reopen.

State Street train station was closed for part of the day today while police conducted their initial investigation. The station is now back open for train commuters.

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