Human torso discovered in downtown New Haven building - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Human torso discovered in downtown New Haven building

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Police roped off the old Salvation Army building on George Street in New Haven for their investigation. (WFSB photo) Police roped off the old Salvation Army building on George Street in New Haven for their investigation. (WFSB photo)
State Police Major Crimes and K-9 Unit are assisting New Haven Police Department (WFSB) State Police Major Crimes and K-9 Unit are assisting New Haven Police Department (WFSB)
Human torso was discovered in downtown New Haven building. No head was located by police. (WFSB) Human torso was discovered in downtown New Haven building. No head was located by police. (WFSB)
NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) -

A human torso was discovered in New Haven on Thursday just two weeks after body parts were found near a train station in the Elm City. 

Earlier this week, police identified the person whose legs were discovered near the State Street Railroad Station on July 15. They said he was 54-year-old homeless man Ray Roberson.

Arms were also found near the station. Police said on Thursday that those arms “are most likely those of Mr. Roberson.”

Police said they were expanding their search to include areas Roberson was known to spend most of his time. One of the spots were Roberson was sleeping was the former Salvation Army building located at 301 George St.

"The dogs went into the building with officers and detectives and they hit on several locations,” New Haven Police Officer David Hartman said.

Investigators roped off that location at 4 p.m. on Wednesday and have been in that area ever since. Cadaver dogs were brought in to assist with the search.

"As soon as my co-worker came out to catch the shuttle, she sent me a text message and said there was a body reportedly found across the street," said Rosalind Smith who works across the street. "Yesterday afternoon around 4:30, there was police activity. I asked one of the state troopers, [he] said he wasn't allowed to speak on that.  Now we're back out here today we're just trying to get answers for our own safety."

Their investigation led police to search the neighboring building at 271 Crown St., which shares the parking lot with the former Salvation Army building. The Crown Street location was the Old Salvation Army thrift shop. 

The torso was located hidden inside the building at 271 Crown St. around noon. There was no head found with torso. 

Police said these remains have not been identified. The remains were sent to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office and the State Forensic Laboratory where analysts will try to determine the identity.

"I would hope we're not dealing with two different cases here,” Hartman said. “But as I stressed before, we're certainly not linking them prematurely."

After an investigation is completed by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office and the State Forensic Laboratory, police said they can see if the torso is connected in any way to the Roberson case.

Overnight, however, many officers could been seen wearing protective gear at the scene. They were clearly combing the area very carefully.

"This is pretty crazy. We had been following the investigation in the news and were just trying to figure out where the body parts were coming from,” Kara Moreau, who works in downtown New Haven, said.

Commuters driving past the scene, which is located between Yale University and Yale-New Haven Hospital, told Eyewitness News that it was scary to see the area cordoned off by police tape and cruisers.

“You have to think there is a bit more to this story from what we already know,” Jen Lepore, who works in downtown New Haven, said.  “There is obviously something else."

Eyewitnesses said homeless people have been known to illegally stay in the building since it was closed down and boarded up about a year ago.

Police told Eyewitness News they've gotten great assistance from New Haven's homeless population, which helped lead them to this location.

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