CLARKSVILLE, Ind. – A man is accused of decapitating and dismembering a southern Indiana woman in what local police described as a “gruesome” crime.
The suspect also set fire to the woman’s apartment in an attempt to cover it up, investigators said.
Clarksville police said crews were called to a fire Tuesday morning at an apartment complex. Firefighters discovered a body and called police, according to WDRB.
The victim was identified as 67-year-old Melody Gambetty. Police later arrested 36-year-old Brian Williams in connection with her death. He’s charged with murder, arson and theft.
“(The) crime scene, in my 23 years, was probably one of the most horrific we’ve been involved in,” said Major Joel DeMoss with the Clarksville Police Department.
Investigators don’t believe Gambetty and Williams knew each other and characterized her death as the result of a botched robbery or home invasion, WDRB reported.
Witnesses had reported a “suspicious but polite” man going door-to-door Monday soliciting “community service work.”
Surveillance cameras captured images of Williams entering Gambetty’s building around 12:40 p.m. Monday and leaving just before 4 p.m. with two suitcases. He then packed them into Gambetty’s car, investigators said.
Police believe Williams returned to the apartment Tuesday morning and started a fire in an attempt to cover up the crime. Police found Williams at home with a suitcase containing some of Gambetty’s body parts, police said.
Police were trying to understand how the encounter between Gambetty and Williams turned so violent. DeMoss called it a “brutal crime scene” and said it was difficult to process the “viciousness” of what happened to Gambetty.
“I had a conversation with (the victim’s) son on the way to work trying to explain to him the brutality of it before it got out in the media. Those are things that are hard,” DeMoss said.
Williams is being held without bond. A trial is scheduled for January 2022.