Police identify man whose body parts were found in New Haven

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NEW HAVEN -- New Haven police say they have identified the dismembered human body parts found earlier this month near the State Street Station.

Ray RobersonPolice say DNA analysis generated a match between the human legs found and Ray Roberson, 54, who was homeless. He was not reported missing.

New Haven Police Department Public Information Officer David Hartman said in a press conference on Monday afternoon that the investigation is being treated as a homicide. However, it is not known if the death occurred in New Haven.

He said nothing "in the investigation tells us where these dismemberments occurred, so we are not certain that this is going to remain only a New Haven case."

Police say the last time someone reported seeing Roberson alive was on May 20. He missed a court date in New Haven on June 17.

Wednesday, July 15, police found two human legs. Later that day, police reported a plastic bag, with severed arms in it, was discovered about a block away on a ledge beneath the Chapel Street bridge.

While the arms have not yet been matched to Roberson's DNA or the same DNA as the legs, but when the parts were discovered Hartman said he would be very surprised and disturbed if the investigation reveals that the two discoveries are unrelated. Specifically, he said it was unlikely that body parts that were there for about the same amount of time would be unrelated.

new haven body parts

The investigation is being focused on a specific neighborhood, where Roberson was likely living, according to Officer Hartman. He also said the crime seems to be very personal, and not random. He said it doesn't seem to be a robbery gone wrong, or anything of that ilk, but nothing has been determined definitively at this time.

The area that investigators are focusing on will not be released so that the investigation is not impeded. Cadaver dogs are searching for more body parts, but none have been found. In the coming days the investigation search area will be expanded, though it already has grown from its initial size. “From where the search was, in and around the State Street railroad station, almost two weeks ago, it went significantly north. It's going to continue significantly south now,” noted Hartman.

Roberson had an extensive criminal record, which is why his DNA was on file, but Hartman said that his criminal offenses were all relatively minor.

Many in New Haven’s homeless community, which presently stands at nearly 570, according to the city, knew Ray Roberson.

“It’s a very scary thing out here being homeless right now,” said Lee Goodman, who has been homeless in New haven for 5 months. “It could happen to anybody.”

New Haven police say there are known homeless encampments along the stretch of tracks where the body parts were discovered.

“We just got to be careful and we just got to look out for one another out here,” said Goodman.

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