crimesider

Woman's dismembered body found in vacant NY home

Terri Bills, left, in an undated photo.

CBS affiliate WIVB

BUFFALO, NY - Authorities are investigating after a woman's dismembered body was found in an abandoned home in western New York.

Police in the city of Niagara Falls say the headless, limbless body found late Tuesday night has been identified as 46-year-old Terri Lynn Bills.

The cause of death for the Niagara Falls mother of two hasn't been released.

Authorities say her remains were discovered by someone who had entered the home and then alerted police.

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A dismembered boy was found in this Niagara Falls, New York home on Tuesday, June 16, 2015.
CBS affiliate WIVB

Investigators say the head, arms and feet had been removed from the body and that the body was placed in the home after Bills died.

The case is similar to an unsolved murder from 2012, when police say Loretta Gates, a 30-year-old mother of three, was killed and her body parts were discovered in a Niagara Falls Park and the Niagara River. Officials say the two women were related through marriage.

According to CBS affiliate WIVB, Bills was Gates' aunt through marriage. The station reports both women had been engaged in drug use and prostitution.

"There's a monster out there," Tammy Gates, Loretta Gates' mother, told the station. "I don't care if they were involved in drugs or prostitution. They don't deserve this."

Crystal Frizzell, the woman who found Bills' body, told the station she and her sister were cutting through the backyard of a vacant house when they smelled a nauseating odor.

Frizzell said she noticed the home's back door was open and when she peered in she saw a garbage bag on a stairwell leading to a basement.

"The head was decapitated," she told the station. "I noticed an outline of her legs, and at the end of her legs, she didn't have any feet," she said. "I didn't know that she didn't have any arms until after they did a more thorough check on her."

Authorities have not confirmed the two cases are related, but Terri Bills' stepson, Richard Mattoon Jr., tells the station he believes they are connected.

"The thing is, it's like my cousin Loretta - when she started to clean up, that's when it happened. Terri was starting to clean up, this is when it happened," Mattoon said.

Anyone with information on the deaths is asked to contact authorities.