A prime suspect, who was arrested and later released in connection with the gruesome discovery of a suitcase filled with human body parts in San Francisco, died on Sunday.
Mark Jeffrey Andrus, 54, died at a city hospital after after going into septic shock from “drug-related reasons,” according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
His public defender Jeff Adachi said “I’m very sad to hear of his passing. From what I can tell, Mark was a good person.” Adachi and his office had reportedly planned to put Andrus up in a residential hotel for a few days.
The bloody suitcase was discovered on January 28 outside of a Goodwill As-Is Store on Market Street in San Francisco’s Mission District. A leg was discovered several blocks away from the initial crime scene. With just a torso and leg, pathologists say it will be difficult to determine the cause of death.
Prosecutors reportedly had until last Tuesday, Feb. 3, to bring charges in the case but declined because of missing key facts:
- Identity of the victim
- Cause of death
- A crime scene
The medical examiner is reportedly awaiting DNA results from the state’s Bureau of Forensic Services lab. The Chronicle notes that investigators are looking at the possibility that the remains belong to 58-year-old Omar Shahwan, who was Andrus’s friend and former roommate.
Shahwan lived with Andrus in 2010 at the Krupa Hotel, a single-room-occupancy hotel on Jones Street, before the building’s then-landlord tried to evict them.
Mark Keever, 53, was also detained with Andrus on Jan. 30 after an anonymous tipster revealed Andrus’s whereabouts. He had been staying with Keever, who was his friend at his Turk Street apartment. Keever was also released that night.
The Chronicle notes that although Andrus was released from the San Francisco jail around 9:30 p.m. that same night, police still considered him a suspect in the discovery of the body parts.
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