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.
#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.
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.
Harford and Cecil Counties also send recyclables to the facility, police said, so it’s still unclear where the body came from.