Two detained in suitcase body parts investigation

San Francisco police detained a person of interest Friday night in a case involving a dismembered body found stuffed into a suitcase Wednesday in the South of Market neighborhood.

Police received an anonymous tip just before 7:30 p.m. reporting that a person of interest seen in photos released to the public earlier today could be found in the 400 block of Turk Street, officials said. Officers detained two people at the scene, one of whom has been confirmed as the person of interest in the grisly crime.

Both people have been taken to the Hall of Justice for questioning, police said. They have not been placed under arrest and are not in custody. The San Francisco medical examiner’s office said today that the body parts found in the suitcase at 11th and Mission streets Wednesday afternoon belonged to an unidentified light-skinned male.

Additional remains were found in a trashcan half a block away from the original scene. The San Francisco Police Department said that some of the body parts were missing, but declined to say which ones.

Officer Grace Gatpandan said:

“It was not a full body. … We can’t confirm what body parts have been found.”

Investigators will tap the DNA lab at the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Forensic Services for assistance in determining the identity of the decedent, according to the medical examiner.

Earlier today police described the person of interest in the case as a white man in his 50s or early 60s, roughly 5 feet 7 inches to 5 feet 8 inches tall, wearing a pinstripe baseball hat, a blue and orange jacket and light blue jeans.

Police said he may be a transient. The case remains under investigation and authorities are asking anyone with information about the death to call the San Francisco Police Department’s homicide unit at (415) 553-1145 or email gay.watts@sfgov.org. Anonymous tips can be left at (415) 575-4444.