A Man Was Arrested After Police Found a Partially Decapitated Woman in a NY Apartment. A Motive Is Still Unknown

BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- New York police officers encountered a grisly scene inside an eighth-floor Brooklyn apartment Saturday, where they found a partially decapitated woman with severed fingers laying unresponsive in the living room.

Savannah Rivera, 20, also had multiple stab wounds and lacerations on her head, arms and body. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police have arrested 34-year-old Jerry Brown in connection with the killing, an NYPD news release said. Brown has been charged with one count of 2nd degree murder, one count of 2nd degree attempted murder and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, the NYPD said.

Police are still trying to determine a motive behind the incident.

A 'brutal, vicious attack'

Rivera's body was discovered after another woman who had fled the apartment flagged an Uber on the street and the driver -- noticing that she was covered in blood -- called police. The injured woman "suffered lacerations to her chest, arms, torso and a large laceration to her head," an NYPD spokesman said. The woman's 4-year-old daughter was found in the apartment's bedroom, unharmed. She was taken to a local hospital for evaluation and is now with family members.

Authorities recovered an ax from a trash compactor at the public housing complex in the Bushwick neighborhood and said it is part of the investigation. NYPD Brooklyn North Deputy Chief Michael Kemper said the murder weapon was a sharp object. But it is unclear whether the ax was used in the crime and Kemper said he couldn't speak on the role it played.

Kemper called the attack "brutal" and "vicious" during a press conference Saturday and said it was not random.

'Good possibility' this is domestic violence

Although the motive is unclear, Kemper said the department is confident they're not looking for any other people related to the incident.

It is believed that the two women and Brown all knew each other, Kemper said, declining to speak on the nature of their relationship to one another. The two women were either friends or relatives, police said. The 21-year-old mother and her young daughter were living in the apartment and Rivera stayed with them, a police spokesman said. It's not yet clear why or for how long she had been staying there.

Kemper said there's a "good possibility" the case will be categorized as domestic violence.

5 comments

    • JC

      You’ve never been to Brooklyn have you? Or at least not in the last ten years. Honestly Lickerblisters, something like this is no more likely to happen in Brooklyn than it is to happen here. There are some pretty messed up NEPA locals who do some pretty depraved things. It wouldn’t surprise me the least bit if someone who had been living in the valley all their lives did something like this. Also, its not always a bad thing for people from the city to relocate here. They are just as likely to contribute positively to our area as they are to bring a bad element, and our area has just as many home-grown problems as people from other places may potentially bring.

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