Man arrested during family visit after his parents find severed head, body parts in his luggage

Kentucky resident took bags stuffed with his girlfriend’s dismembered body on five-hour bus ride to stay with family in Illinois.


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Mugshot of Melvin Martin Jr.
Melvin Martin Jr.
(City of Markham)

A Kentucky man has been arrested after he took duffel bags stuffed with his girlfriend’s body parts on a trip to stay with his parents in Illinois.

Melvin Martin Jr. transported the grisly luggage on a five-hour Greyhound bus ride from Louisville, Kentucky, to get to his parents’ home in Markham about a week ago, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Family members became curious after Martin asked them at least twice to buy clothing for him despite not unpacking the two heavy bags he’d arrived with, city spokesman Michael Taylor said.

There were also “early reports of a foul odor coming from the bags,” Markham Police Chief Terry White told CBS Chicago.

Martin’s parents finally peeked inside the luggage on Monday morning when their son went to the local library.

After discovering the gruesome contents, “[t]hey immediately backed away and called police,” White said.

The severed head and other body parts found in the bags are thought to belong to Martin’s 31-year-old girlfriend.

She apparently died during a domestic dispute at the couple’s Kentucky home about a month ago, according to White, who noted that police there have now located the remains of her upper torso.

Martin was arrested at the local library Monday and initially charged with a felony count of being a fugitive from justice. Additional charges are pending in Cook County, Illinois, and in Kentucky, police said.

White remarked that Martin appeared “remorseful” while speaking with investigators.

“He indicated that, as grotesque as it might sound, that he still wanted to be with her, at least part of her,” the local police chief said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Martin is expected to make an initial court appearance Thursday morning.

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