FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 30, 2022
Parolee Arraigned for Murdering and Dismembering Brooklyn Woman
Torso and Leg were Discovered in Street Inside Plastic Bags,
Additional Body Parts Discovered in Defendant’s Apartment
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that an 83-year-old parolee has been arraigned on first-degree murder and other charges in connection with the death of a Brooklyn woman whose body parts were discovered inside and in the vicinity of the defendant’s East New York apartment.
District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This shocking and horrific murder ended the life and desecrated the remains of a beloved member of the Brooklyn community, and her family and many friends continue to be in my prayers. Few crimes in my long career as a prosecutor rise to this level of extreme depravity, and we will vigorously pursue justice on Ms. Leyden’s behalf.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Harvey Marcelin, 83. She was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun on an indictment in which she is charged with first- and second-degree murder, tampering with physical evidence and concealment of a human corpse. The defendant was ordered held without bail and to return to court on May 19, 2022. She faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted of the top count.
The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, surveillance footage taken on February 27, 2022, allegedly showed the victim, 68-year-old Susan Leyden, entering the defendant’s apartment on Pennsylvania Avenue in East New York. She was never seen leaving the apartment alive. Additional surveillance footage showed the defendant allegedly rolling a wheeled shopping bag containing a black plastic bag on March 2. The victim’s torso was discovered in that bag in the early morning hours of March 3.
In a subsequent search of the defendant’s apartment, police discovered the victim’s head and limbs, as well as blood, cleaning supplies, a hammer, and a box of an electric saw. On March 7, one of the victim’s legs was found near a garbage can about three blocks away. In addition, surveillance video allegedly showed the defendant purchasing a saw and cleaning supplies in a Manhattan Home Depot around the time of the victim’s disappearance.
The Medical Examiner determined that the victim, who resided in Clinton Hill, suffered blunt force trauma to the head and other physical injuries to her body. The investigation revealed that the defendant and the victim lived in the same shelter in the Bronx in 2019, but the nature of their relationship is unclear.
On October 16, 1963, the defendant was convicted of first-degree murder in Manhattan, forming the basis of the first-degree murder charge in this case.
The District Attorney thanked the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office for locating the old case files pertaining to the defendant.
The case was investigated by New York City Police Department Detectives Thomas Pisano, of Brooklyn North Homicide Squad, and David Quattrocchi of the 75th Precinct Detective Squad. Paralegal Supervisor Jannette Ayala and Paralegal Sherleese Adams, of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau, assisted in the investigation.
The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Lana Schlesinger, of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau, and Assistant District Attorney Howard Jackson, First Deputy Bureau Chief of the Homicide Bureau.
An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.