clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Markham residents find body parts in bags relative brought from Kentucky: police

The man allegedly brought luggage “filled with human remains” with him on a Greyhound bus from Kentucky before bringing it to a Markham home, according to city spokesman Michael Taylor.

Police are searching for a group of men who allegedly robbed and sexually assaulted a woman August 28, 2021, in Lawndale.
Markham police are investigating after residents found human body parts in a duffel bag a visiting relative had allegedly brought on a Greyhound bus from Kentucky.
Adobe Stock Photo

Charges have been filed against a Kentucky man who allegedly brought dismembered body parts belonging to his girlfriend on a Greyhound bus to visit his parents in south suburban Markham.

Melvin Martin Jr. allegedly brought luggage “filled with human remains” with him on a Greyhound bus from Kentucky to downtown Chicago before bringing it to the Markham home, according to Markham city spokesman Michael Taylor.

When he arrived at his parents’ home with two bags that looked like they would contain clothes, he repeatedly asked relatives for clothing during his stay, authorities said. When Martin visited the Markham Public Library on Monday afternoon, the relatives looked in the bags, found the human remains and called police.

Officers responded to the home, found the remains and took Martin into custody at the library, Taylor said.

Martin was charged with being a fugitive from justice, Taylor said.

But that charge was dropped at a hearing Thursday at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse when Martin agreed to not fight extradition and return to Kentucky to face charges in the state including murder, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence.

Judge Susana Ortiz said Kentucky authorities would pick Martin up for transfer within 30 days and ordered him held without bail at the Cook County Jail until then.

Martin said little during the hearing, only answering questions with a “yes” or a “no.”

Martin was accessing the IRS website on a library computer at the time of his arrest, Markham Police Chief Terry White said during a news conference Wednesday.

The body parts appeared to belong to Martin’s 31-year-old girlfriend, White said. The couple lived together in Kentucky, and he said some remains were also found in Kentucky. The remains have not yet been positively identified.

“With the remains we have here, we have the advantage of dental records, and then of course there is DNA,” White said. “Of course her upper torso remains in Kentucky, so the level of their forensics, I’m sure, mirrors ours, so I’m quite sure that there’s going to be a positive identification about this victim.”

He said Martin appeared to be “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,” White said.

Read more on crime, and track the city’s homicides.