Man's suicide note leads to girl's dismembered body

Thursday, October 19, 2006

NEW ORLEANS -- A note found on the body of a suicide jumper led police to a French Quarter apartment where they found his girlfriend's charred head in a pot on the stove, her arms and legs in the oven and her torso in the refrigerator, a law enforcement officer said Wednesday.

New Orleans police spokesmen confirmed that a 26-year-old woman was found dismembered Tuesday night in her apartment above a voodoo shop.

Details from the kitchen were released by a law enforcement officer close to the investigation who spoke with The Associated Press on condition of anonymity and unidentified officials who spoke to the Times-Picayune newspaper and WWL-TV.

A woman who identified herself as Priestess Miriam in the Voodoo Spiritual Temple and Cultural Center below the apartment said Wednesday that the couple had recently moved in.

"You see people and never know what's going on with them," the woman said.

Police said the 28-year-old man leaped from the seventh-floor of the Omni Royal Orleans Hotel in the French Quarter on Tuesday night. When officers checked his pockets, they found the note, which led them to the apartment and the woman's body.

Officer Garry Flot confirmed the body was dismembered but released no other details. Police and the coroner's office declined to release the identities of the couple, saying family members had not yet been notified.

The apartment's owner, Leo Watermeier, said he last saw the woman Oct. 5, four days after the two put down a deposit on the one-bedroom, $750-a month flat. Later that same day, Watermeier said, the boyfriend called Watermeier, angrily saying the woman was kicking him out.

Watermeier said the woman told him she had caught the boyfriend cheating.

The couple didn't appear to be native New Orleanians, the landlord said. He said the woman worked as a waitress and bartender.

Joy Spaulding, owner of the nearby Nawlin's Flava Cafe said the couple frequented her restaurant. "To be honest, they seemed like a real nice couple. They were good-looking people, young people trying to do something with their lives."

Associated Press Writer Mary Foster contributed to this report.

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