NEW YORK (PIX11) — The suspect accused in a “gruesome and barbaric” killing brought her victim’s leg into a store before later disposing of it, NYPD Chief James Essig revealed during a press conference Friday.
Harvey Marcelin, a transgender woman Essig said also went by the name “Marceline Harvey,” has been charged with second-degree murder after a search warrant turned up human remains in her apartment. The 83-year-old has five previous arrests, stemming back to 1957, for crimes including assault, rape and homicide.
In one of those cases, a 1985 case in which Marcelin pled guilty to manslaughter, Essig noted police records showed the victim’s body was “cut up to pieces.”
She is accused of doing the same to 68-year-old Susan Leyden, an LGBTQ activist who lived in the same apartment complex as Marcelin. According to Essig, Leyden walked into the complex on Feb. 27 — pushing the same shopping cart her torso was later found in.
Police said Marcelin and Leyden knew each other for at least two years, meeting after Marcelin was released on lifetime parole in 2019. Detectives are still trying to determine the motive that led Marcelin to allegedly kill Leyden, Essig said.
“Based on her history, she’s capable of a lot of evil things,” he said.
Two days after the alleged killing, Marcelin and another woman walked into a Manhattan Home Depot and purchased a saw, trash bags and cleaning supplies. NYPD Chief John Chell said that second woman has cooperated with police investigation, and has not been charged with any crime.
Police executed a search warrant on Marcelin’s apartment on March 4, where they discovered a human head. Marcelin was arrested the same day. In undated footage showed Friday, Marcelin was observed in a 99-cent store sitting in a wheelchair — on top of what police said was Leyden’s leg. That leg was recovered March 7.
Essig said Marcelin is cooperating with the investigation, with Chell noting the department still has a lot to do.
“[This] takes a serial killer off our streets,” Essig said. “We can only hope that she can do no more [harm].”