CLIFTON HEIGHTS, Pa. (CBS) – A scene so terrible and shocking that even veteran police officers were shocked in disbelief. They looked through the window of their apartment in Clifton Heights and saw a man believed to be dismembering his girlfriend’s body.
For the police, it started as an inbound call but quickly became something far different. The suspect is in custody, charged with first-degree murder.
The sheriff says he has never seen a crime like this in three decades of law enforcement.
“This is disgusting,” said Clifton Heights Police Chief Timothy Rockenbach.
Clifton Heights police allege Nicholas Scurria, 32, used a machete to dismember his ex-girlfriend in their shared apartment on Springfield Road on Friday morning.
“Any small town that has to deal with a crime like this would be shocked,” says Rockenbach.
Police affidavits show a neighbor “wake up to loud shouting in the next apartment and also heard what sounded like horror and the collection or shifting of plastic material”.
“I believe his intention was clearly to cover up the crime. And we were able to get there before he could flee due to that 911 call,” Rockenbach said.
Charles Byrd said: “It’s amazing because it’s right in your backyard.
Natersh Cross said: “To know someone has a machete, I think that’s really crazy.
Scurria is said to have told investigators that an argument had occurred between him and his ex-girlfriend, adding that she had attempted to castrate him. The police are not so sure.
“That’s what remains to be seen,” said Rockenbach.
Delaware County has a 24/7 domestic violence helpline. That number is 610-565-4590.
“Domestic violence is a big crime,” says Rockenbach.
Police said that no drugs were found and that the suspect had no history of knowing the police. But many weapons were found in the apartment. Authorities are currently investigating to find out exactly what killed the victim.
The suspect faces first-degree murder, abuse of a corpse and other charges.