Two charged in dismemberment of Tanya Byrd, Bronx woman found in trash bags

Tanya Byrd, whose remains were found in the Bronx, New York on Feb. 26, 2013.
Cassandra McLean via CBS New York
Tanya Byrd, whose remains were found in the Bronx, New York on Feb. 26, 2013.
Cassandra McLean via CBS New York

(CBS) NEW YORK - Police have charged two men, including the victim's son, in connection with the death of a 45-year-old woman whose dismembered body was found in trash bags scattered across a Bronx neighborhood Tuesday morning, CBS New York reports.

On Tuesday, police arrested 23-year-old Bashid McLean in connection with the death of his mother, Tanya Byrd. Authorities also arrested McLean's friend, 26-year-old William Harris, on Wednesday, according to CBS radio affiliate 1010 WINS.

Police announced Wednesday afternoon that McLean and Harris have been charged with hindering prosecution and unlawful dissection of a human body. Harris also faces charges of criminal possession of stolen property and unlawful possession of marijuana, CBS New York reports.

According to 1010 WINS, both men had been questioned by police and allegedly implicated each other in the killing.

Byrd's remains were found in a trash bag by a man out walking his dog around 4:30 a.m. Tuesday, police said. The dog was reportedly drawn to the scent coming from one of the bags and when the man opened it, he found the remains and called 911.

When officers arrived with cadaver dogs, they found body parts inside heavy-duty plastic garbage bags and inside a duffel bag among the pile of trash, police said. The remains were found in at least four different locations, they said.

Police spent the rest of the day Tuesday searching for evidence, interviewing witnesses and looking for surveillance video.

Inside Byrd's apartment she shared with her son, investigators said they found suspicious items, including a saw and bleach, the station reports.

Byrd, who was a home health aide, had two adult children and a 7-year-old son with Down Syndrome.

Her daughter, Porscha Lovett, said she spoke with her brother inside the police precinct Tuesday, the station reports.

"He looked me in the eyes and he told me he did nothing wrong," Lovett said, according to the station. "He had a lot of hatred towards my mother."

McLean has six prior arrests, including one for assaulting a police officer. Lovett said her brother has held a grudge since childhood and has a history of mental problems.

"When we were kids, she wasn't the best mom, but she tried to make up for the fact that she wasn't there for us," she reportedly said. "He could never get over the fact that she wasn't."

The New York City Medical Examiner will determine Byrd's cause of death.

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