Investigators found a chopped up body inside the luggage… and the suspect’s name and location on the outside.
Police didn’t have to look too hard for clues to this case: they were literally stuck on the side.
A Colorado man has been charged with murder after he forgot to remove the baggage claim stickers from the luggage that contained his dismembered victim, police claim.
Benjamin Satterthwaite, 28, was charged in the killing of 33-year-old Joshua Lockard, whose remains were discovered stuffed into a pair of suitcases and dumped on a Denver sidewalk.
The cases were discovered near a creek by two city employees who were ploughing snow on December 29; they opened one and found a human foot.
After detectives arrived they found one case contained a right leg and left upper thigh; the other had a torso wrapped in a trash bag and bound in duct tape.
They also found something else on one of the purple suitcases: a United Airlines baggage claim sticker with the name “Satterthwaite” and the destination “Den” written on it.
A quick call to Denver International Airport revealed a Benjamin Satterthwaite had flown in on December 21; he had not reported any of his bags missing.
Before police even had a chance to track him down, they were summoned to Satterthwaite’s apartment on New Year’s Day, responding to reports of a possible overdose.
There they found another person, dead from a drug overdose, lying next to an unconscious Satterthwaite, who appeared to be also overdosing.
He was taken to hospital, as investigators obtained his fingerprints as well as a search warrant for his home.
Returning to the apartment, police found a suitcase that matched the one from the crime scene, as well as a bloody saw blade.
Using luminol, they also found blood stains all over the couch, bathroom and in the bathtub.
Lockard, who had reportedly struggled with meth addiction and had recently been kicked out of a rehab facility, was last seen alive on December 26. A friend told detectives he had dropped him off at Alameda High School around noon, after giving him a ride to cash a check.
Surveillance footage shows Satterthwaite buying a saw from Walmart on December 27.
From the arrest affidavit, seen by Denver 7 News, it appears that the suspect and the victim knew each other, and that the latter had stayed at the former’s apartment previously. However no motive for the killing was given.
Satterthwaite has been charged with one count of murder in the first degree, and one count of tampering with a deceased human body.