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Authorities identify woman found dismembered in luggage in Markham

Melvin Martin Jr. is awaiting extradition to Kentucky to face charges in the woman’s death.

A man was shot dead May 3, 2021, in Berwyn.
Residents in Markham found human body parts in a duffel bag a visiting relative had allegedly brought on a Greyhound bus from Kentucky
Adobe Stock photo

Authorities released the identity of a woman whose remains were found in a duffel bag allegedly carried on a Greyhound bus by her Kentucky-based boyfriend who traveled to south suburban Markham to visit his parents.

The woman was identified as 31-year-old Ladawndra Ellington of Louisville, Kentucky, according to the Jefferson County coroner’s office.

Melvin Martin Jr. was initially charged with being a fugitive from justice in Ellington’s death, Markham city spokesman Michael Taylor said.

That charge was dropped at a hearing Thursday when Martin agreed to not fight extradition and return to Kentucky to face charges including murder, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence.

He was ordered held without bail by a Cook County judge who said authorities from Kentucky would pick him up for transfer within 30 days.

Martin allegedly brought luggage “filled with human remains” with him on the Greyhound bus from Kentucky to downtown Chicago before bringing it to the Markham home, Taylor said.

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, the relatives looked in the bags, found the human remains and called police.

The woman was Martin’s girlfriend, and the couple lived together in Kentucky, Markham Police Chief Terry White said at a new conference Wednesday. Some remains were also found in Kentucky.

“He indicated that, as grotesque as it might sound, that he still wanted to be with her, at least part of her,” White said.

Contributing: Luke Wilusz, Matthew Hendrickson