COCKEYSVILLE, Md. (WJZ) — The body found in a recycling center in Cockeysville earlier this week had been dismembered, police said Thursday.
Workers at the recycling facility found the body wrapped in a tarp just after noon on Tuesday. The limbs and head were gone when the body was found; just the torso remained.
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#BREAKING: Baltimore County police confirm the body found in a recycling center In Cockeysville earlier this week had been dismembered—limbs and head gone; police have identified the person but are not ready to release the name yet. @wjz pic.twitter.com/J11kbfloYL
— Mike Hellgren (@HellgrenWJZ) December 12, 2019
Police identified the man on Thursday night as John Ernest Stevens, 42, of Laurel. Stevens had been reported missing on December 3.
— Mike Hellgren (@HellgrenWJZ) December 13, 2019
- ‘Extremely Suspicious’: Body Found At Baltimore County Recycling Plant Was Wrapped In Tarp
- Body Found Among Recycling At Plant In Cockeysville, Police Investigating
An autopsy is still ongoing, but Baltimore County police said they’re fairly confident the death will be ruled a homicide.READ MORE: Essex Spreads Holiday Cheer With Christmas Tree Lighting
Baltimore County Police spokesperson Jennifer Peach said it’s too early to rule out any circumstances that may have led to Stevens’ death, including possible gang affiliation.
A source told WJZ workers heard a loud thump and tried to grab the body, which was wrapped in a tarp, but it was too heavy. Workers had to pause the belt to remove it.
At first, they thought it was a Halloween decoration or a mannequin, the source said. When they learned it was a body, they called police.MORE NEWS: State Health Department Opens Vaccine, Testing Clinics In Mondawmin Mall
Harford and Cecil Counties also send recyclables to the facility, police said, so it’s still unclear where the body came from.