Murder of Rashawn Brazell

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Rashawn Brazell

In late February 2005, the dismembered body parts of 19-year-old Rashawn Brazell were found in garbage bags strewn throughout the New York City borough of Brooklyn after he disappeared from his home in its Bushwick neighborhood. He had left it the morning of February 14 to meet his accountant and then meet his mother for lunch in Manhattan. At 7:30 that morning, an unknown person rang the apartment building's security buzzer and Rashawn went down to meet him. According to other witnesses, Rashawn met a man outside his Brooklyn apartment and the two men entered the subway together at the Gates Avenue station.[1] Witnesses believe the two exited at the Nostrand Avenue station in Bedford–Stuyvesant a short time later. Rashawn was never seen alive again.[2]

On February 18, two bags full of body parts were found on the tracks near the Nostrand Avenue station, and the parts were positively identified through fingerprints as being Rashawn Brazell.[3] An arm and leg, also identified as Brazell's, were found in a recycling plant in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.[4] His head was never found. The New York City Police Department searched around the country for clues;[5] America's Most Wanted profiled the case and ran the segment several times.[6]

A break in the case came in 2017. The police arrested Kwauhuru Govan, one of Brazell's former neighbors, who had a criminal history predating 2005; he had since moved to Florida and was imprisoned there in 2014 on an armed robbery conviction. Govan was charged with Brazell's murder. After DNA linked him to another unsolved Brooklyn homicide, he was extradited to New York and charged with that killing. Detectives who asked Govan about the Brazell case claim that he made false and evasive statements. They charged him with the crime on that basis and other evidence, and they suspect he might be a serial killer.[7]

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  1. ^ Murphy, Mary (September 17, 2014). "Murder of Brooklyn teen whose dismembered body was found in subway tunnel remains unsolved". New York's PIX11 / WPIX-TV. Retrieved February 23, 2017.
  2. ^ Michael Newton (2009). The Encyclopedia of Unsolved Crimes. Infobase Publishing. p. 57. ISBN 978-1-4381-1914-4.
  3. ^ Donohue, Pete; Gendar, Alison (February 18, 2005). "GRISLY FIND IN SUBWAY B'klyn man's bloody limbs discovered". New York Daily News. Retrieved February 23, 2017.
  4. ^ Murphy, Mary (February 22, 2017). "FIRST ON PIX11: Suspect in 2005 cold-case killing of dismembered Brooklyn teen linked to 2nd teen slaying". New York's PIX11 / WPIX-TV. Retrieved February 23, 2017.
  5. ^ "NYPD Cold Case Squad faces daunting challenges". New York Daily News. September 1, 2016. Retrieved February 23, 2017.
  6. ^ | Unknown Rashawn Brazell Killer - Fugitive Archived June 19, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Parascandola, Rocco; Carrega, Christina; Shapiro, Richard (February 22, 2017). "Suspect in 2005 Brooklyn beheading claims innocence by yelling 'I can't even dissect a frog' in court". New York Daily News. Retrieved February 23, 2017.

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