A man walking his dog came upon one of the bags early Tuesday in a trash pile on a street in the Melrose section of the Bronx after the dog sniffed it out.
Inside a duffel bag was a heavy-duty plastic garbage bag with the woman’s bloodied leg. Police then found the three other bags and their macabre contents, including the victim’s head, part of her torso and other limbs.
McLean later reported his mother missing, police said. Medical examiners determined that Byrd died from a stab wound to the neck and officially ruled the death a homicide.
A blade was discovered in the apartment McLean shared with his mother, and a saw was found in Harris’ home, police said.
Byrd’s family said she had wanted her son out of the house, and there was speculation that he had been abusing her other child, authorities said.
The young man had several arrests, including one for assaulting two police officers in Brooklyn in 2010. His father, James, told the Daily News that he did destructive things. “He set fires. Nobody could control him,” the father said.
McLean and Harris were first arrested on charges of unlawfully dissecting a human body and hindering prosecution. Each man initially implicated the other the killing, authorities said. The murder charge was later added for McLean.
Harris was arraigned on charges of criminal possession of stolen property and drug possession. He was held without bail. A message left for his attorney wasn’t immediately returned.