A man was accused of murdering an Indiana woman and setting fire to her residence, according to police. Brian Montez Williams, 36, of Clarksville, faces murder and arson charges.
Clarksville police say firefighters arrived Tuesday after a resident of the building dialed 911 to report smoke coming from an adjacent apartment, according to a probable cause affidavit. The first officer to arrive was a Clarksville police officer who discovered the apartment door to be extremely hot to the touch.
Indiana man accused of decapitating a woman
When firefighters arrived at the apartment, they discovered a woman on the floor. When responders attempted to move the corpse, they learned the person was decapitated. Melody Gambetty, 67, was eventually identified as the victim, as per Fox News.
Clarksville police arrived on the site and quickly began examining security footage and combing the neighborhood, eventually locating 36-year-old Brian Williams. He was arrested for murder and arson charges less than eight hours later. Major Joel DeMoss stated during a press conference Wednesday that surveillance footage showed Williams leaving Melody Gambetty's apartment with suitcases on Monday afternoon. It looks to be a botched robbery.
According to a probable cause affidavit obtained by WDRB, when police tracked Williams down to his house, they reportedly discovered her head in a suitcase and human digits - such as fingers and toes - inside a plastic container. DeMoss said Gambetty also had stab wounds, but an autopsy would be done on Thursday morning to determine the official cause of death.
In court, Williams' defense counsel argued that he should be freed on probation, but the judge ordered him to stay in the Clark County Jail without bond. The Indiana man's next court appearance is scheduled for September 1.
Per Daily Mail, Williams did not know Gambetty; and the murder might have resulted from a burglary attempt or a home invasion. During his initial appearance in Clark County Circuit Court on Wednesday, Williams was held detained without bond after entering a not guilty plea on his behalf.
The suspect asks for community service work prior to the crime
Williams was also accused of knocking on people's homes in the area, requesting community service work. According to court papers, investigators obtained a warrant to search Williams' house, where they discovered the missing body parts, as well as Gambetty's identity card, credit and debit cards.
Clarksville Police Chief Mark Palmer said he has never seen anything like it in his 32 years on the job. An autopsy will determine Gambetty's official cause of death, but police said she seemed to have been stabbed.
Investigators think Gambetty was murdered on Monday, and Williams returned to her apartment on Tuesday to cover up the evidence by setting fire to it. According to court papers, witnesses at the apartment complex described a suspicious, young, and polite man going door-to-door Monday seeking a community service job.
Gambetty died violently, said prosecutor Jeremy Mull. He stated he wasn't sure if the death penalty will be pursued. The killing took place in Clarksville, Indiana, a 20,000-person town located across the Ohio River from Louisville, Kentucky.