In a gruesome case that has left many questions unanswered, New Orleans police discovered the remains of a missing woman on Tuesday after obtaining a warrant to search a home on Pauline Street.
The initial reason for their search was related to a “missing person investigation,” according to WVUE-DT, but they found much more than the missing person.
Benjamin Beale, 34, who also goes by Kelley Kirkpatrick, was arrested after authorities found a meth lab as well as human remains in a bus on his property.
Inside a freezer on the bus, police found a woman’s remains including a torso, head and other body parts, as well as a reciprocating saw with flesh on it.
The body was later identified as that of Julia Dardar, 36, who’d allegedly been living with Beale. According to her estranged husband, she was struggling with addiction and had not been seen since mid-December.
As police continued their search, another part of the property revealed a clandestine meth lab.
A safe in the house contained several of Dardar’s belongings, including her ID and credit cards, a bifold wallet, a plush turtle purse and mushrooms.
So far, Beale has not been charged with murder, but he has been charged with “illegal carrying of a weapon in the presence of controlled dangerous substances, distribution of methamphetamine, possession with the intent to distribute marijuana, and two counts of creating/operating a clandestine drug lab,” according to court records.
He appeared before a judge on Wednesday who set his bond at over $400,000.
Neighbors were shocked when they learned the reason for all the police activity on the property.
Some told WDSU that on Sunday, police had been in the area, asking neighbors if they had “smelled anything.”
“It’s unfortunate,” neighbor Tracey Pearson said. “I am really sorry for her family’s loss. The fact that it happened next door is incredible. I cannot believe it.”
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