A man beheaded a woman in her Long Island, N.Y., apartment late Tuesday and then dragged the body and head out onto a street, where onlookers initially thought they were witnessing a macabre Halloween prank, police and witnesses said.
The suspected killer, who was not identified, jumped in front of a commuter train near the Farmingdale, N.Y., home moments later, killing himself, Nassau County police said. Police said the woman appeared to be in her 60s, while the killer appeared to be around 30. It was not clear what prompted the murder suicide or what the relationship between the two was.
Witnesses told the New York Post they saw the man drag the woman’s body out of the building and onto the street, where he kicked her head some 20 feet before going to a nearby railroad track and jumping in front of an eastbound Long Island Railroad train approximately 25 minutes later. Police said his body was found about a mile from the apartment.
On the street in front of the apartment, witnesses described a gruesome scene first thought to be part of a prank.
“There was blood all over the floor,” neighbor Nick Gordon told the Post. “You can see smears going down the stairs … as if somebody were pulling a body.”
Witnesses told the Post that some of the woman’s neighbors initially thought the headless body in the street was a Halloween prank, only to discover the body was real after attempting to lift it.
Police did not initially cite any connection to terrorism, although the incident recalled last month’s horrific attack in Moore, Okla., in which an ex-con and recent convert to Islam beheaded a former co-worker at a food processing plant. Also last month, a 25-year-old British man beheaded an 82-year-old woman who was gardening in her yard when she was attacked.