Police ID Homeless Man By Severed Legs Found Near Train Station

Amy Schaeffer

Severed body parts had been found by a Connecticut station more than two weeks ago, according to MetroNews. Unfortunately, at the time, nobody was reported missing, so police were unsure what to make of the situation - it was possible a train had hit someone, except that some of the severed limbs were in plastic bags. Regardless of type of death, it was impossible to identify unless someone came forward or a head was found, or if the person's DNA was in the NCIS database for some reason.

According to NetroNews, that's exactly what happened -police were able to identify the man through his DNA from a database. DNA testing by the Connecticut state crime lab showed the legs discovered in New Haven on July 15 were those of 54-year-old Ray Roberson, said Officer David Hartman, the New Haven police spokesman. According to NBC Connecticut, DNA from the legs matched a DNA sample Roberson gave for a state criminal database as has been required for people under arrest to do for some time now. This has helped significantly in identifying those for responsible for crimes in which DNA has been left behind.

Roberson, who was said to have had a "minor criminal record," was last spotted May 20, and had not been reported missing by anyone. This is not unusual for homeless individuals, who frequently can travel from place to place and do not always have contact with the same people.

New Haven Police Department is investigating the crime as a homicide, and says that the crime appeared "quite personal in nature."

Roberson had been convicted of violating the terms of a probation-like release program called conditional discharge and was sentenced to seven months in jail. Details of those convictions weren't immediately available by New Haven Police Department.

He also had several other convictions for breach of peace and disorderly conduct, and had a pending breach of peace case in which he missed a June 17 court date, which is now known that was because he had been dead for more than a month. Public defenders who had represented him in the past declined to comment or said they "didn't remember him."

It is uncertain when his body parts will be released for burial but states pay to have indigent people buried without ceremony, unless volunteer efforts are made to raise money for a funeral and costs. At the time, nobody has come forward to claim Roberson as a family member.

[Photo courtesy of New Haven Police Department]