Remains found in suitcases may belong to 22-year-old NYC woman: cops

A chopped-up body found stuffed inside two suitcases in a Brooklyn apartment Wednesday is believed to belong to an abused 22-year-old woman, whose remains were found amid a grisly scene of splattered blood alongside a meat cleaver, police said Thursday.

The remains were found after concerned building security guards tried to check on the woman — who had not been seen for nearly a week — only to be turned away at the door by her boyfriend, who ran off before cops arrived at the scene and found the grisly scene, police said.

Neighbors said the young victim, identified by relatives as Dasia Johnson, had long been violently abused by her boyfriend and sources said had gotten an order of protection against him, to no avail.

Responding police opened the suitcases and discovered the “obvious crime scene.”
Paul Martinka
A 22-year-old woman is suspected to be the victim.
Seth Gottfried
The remains were located after concerned building security guards went to the unit.
Seth Gottfried

He’s now the subject of a police manhunt and considered a person of interest in the slaying.

“My head hurts, my heart hurts, my eyes hurt from crying,” said neighbor Stephanie Harris, who had befriended Johnson. “Maybe five, six days ago I seen her. Before that, they was having problems real bad.

“For two years he [was] beating on her, broke her apartment down, broke her legs, broke her ribs,” Harris said. “Her mom was complaining, ‘I want to get her away from this building. She’s gonna end up dead, please get her away from this building.’ Nobody wants to listen.

The remains were found in an apartment on Linwood Street near Atlantic Avenue in Cypress Hills.
Paul Martinka

“A couple of months ago she came back with crutches,” she said. “He broke her apartment down, he broke the TVs in her apartment. And I cried and I said, ‘Listen, I don’t want to see you on the news.’”

On Wednesday, security guards knocked on the door of the Cypress Hills apartment to check on Johnson at the behest of a local nonprofit program for abused women.

But when the guards tried to get into the apartment on a welfare check, sources said her boyfriend and another man refused to let them in, prompting the guards to threaten to call the cops.

Sources say dried blood was found inside the bathtub, where police also found clothes and several cutting instruments.

When the guards briefly left the sixth-floor apartment, the two men made their getaway lugging a duffle bag, the sources said.

As soon as the two men left, security returned to the apartment, where they found a meat cleaver, blood in the bathroom and smelled a foul odor, police sources said.

“Security has keys to get in her place, they have master keys and they walk in and they see blood all over the place,” NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig said Thursday. “And they pull back out.”

Police discovered “a large amount of blood” at the location.
Paul Martinka

The workers immediately called 911.

“She’s DOA,” Essig said. “Chopped up and we’re waiting for the [medical examiner] to determine the exact cause of death.

“We know there were two males who security is helping us to ID who came out of that apartment before we got in,” the chief added. 

Essig said cops believe the body was dismembered in the bathtub.

Cops responded around 1:40 p.m. and later executed a search warrant, during which they opened the suitcases and discovered the “obvious crime scene,” police said Wednesday.

Neighbor Stephanie Harris (left) said the woman who lives inside the apartment where the remains were found has a boyfriend with whom she would often fight.
Gabriella Bass

“A large amount of blood” was found at the location, cops said Tuesday night.

The gory finds included dried blood inside the bathtub, where police also found clothes, several cutting instruments, “and a possible tip of a human digit,” sources said.

The two suitcases were next to the bathtub, the sources said.

The sources said the 23-year-old boyfriend had been at Johnson’s apartment in March to “get his stuff,” in violation of an order of protection — which is still in effect.

But Harris, the victim’s friend, said she repeatedly told cops everything was okay when officers showed up.

“He beat her one day in the hallway,” she said. “My daughter was like, ‘Don’t do that.’ My daughter is three. ‘Get your ass in the house you little bitch.’

The medical examiner’s office will officially confirm the person’s identity and cause of death.
Paul Martinka

“She would always say, ‘I can’t wait to get away,’” Harris added. “After this year I’m going. I don’t know where I’m gonna go, but I’m going. My momma gonna know where I’m at. I gotta go. I feel like my time is almost up.’”

She said the victim had been working with Housing Plus, a nonprofit program that helps women and families who have experienced homelessness. Housing Plus also offers tenants access to programs to deal with other issues, including domestic violence. 

Another neighbor, who asked not to be identified, told The Post that when cops were called to the apartment “she hides [her boyfriend] inside her house.

“They can’t do anything about that,” he said. “Around six times they came here and all six times the same thing.

“It’s usually at night that you hear stuff,” the neighbor said. “You hear arguing, banging, loud stuff. Just very loud screaming, banging. It’s a usual thing that got out of control one day.”

The city medical examiner’s office will officially confirm the victim’s identity and determine the cause of death.