Charges against woman who dumped body parts in Brooklyn are turned into murder

Charges against a woman who allegedly threw human body parts in Brooklyn have been ruled murder, police said Friday.

At a public briefing on March 11, Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell and Chief of Detectives James Essig announced updated charges against Harvey Marcelin, 83, who was arrested on March 10 and accused of harboring a human corpse.

“The subject had been charged with unlawful disposal of a body. These charges were strengthened late yesterday, pursuant to a grand jury indictment, against the murder suspect,” Commissioner Sewell said. “This investigation has been difficult, and I want to thank Chief Essig and the 75 Squad and Brooklyn North Homicide Detectives. I also want to thank Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez and his team for the vital role they played in the development of this case before the grand jury, which led to the indictment.

On March 3, police responded to a call about a suspicious DOA at the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and Atlantic Avenue. A man found a shopping cart at the location and inside was the torso of a grown woman. On March 7, a human leg was found in a trash bag on a street in eastern New York, near the corner of Jamaica Avenue and Wyona Street.

Marcelin, who identifies as a transgender woman, was reportedly caught dumping human remains near her apartment at 50 Pennsylvania Avenue in surveillance footage. It was reported by the New York Post that a search warrant of Marcelin’s home would have discovered a human head of 68-year-old Susan Layden.

Marcelin had previously been convicted of murder in 1963 for shooting his then-girlfriend, Jacqueline Bonds, in her apartment. She had also previously been convicted of homicide and sentenced to 20 years to life in prison, and was released in 1984 on parole for life.

In November 1985, Marcelin stabbed another woman to death and dumped her body in Central Park. Marcelin pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in 1986 and was sentenced to between six and 12 years in prison. She was paroled in 2019.

“This is a horrific and barbaric homicide that culminated in the elimination of a headless torso in a corner of New York City, and it removes a serial killer from our street,” said the Chief Essig. “This is just the latest in a list of heinous offenses committed in a lifetime by Miss Harvey and we can only hope there is nothing more she can do.”

Chief of Detectives James Essig briefs the public on new charges against 83-year-old Harvey Marcelin.Photo of Dean Moses
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