A witness told police that Tanya Byrd‘s body parts–head, hands, torso, and a shoulder–were thrown among other heaps of garbage on Eagle Avenue near 158th Street. The suspect was spotted speeding away in a silver SUV.
Byrd’s son, Bashid McLean, 23, is being questioned in connection with the killing. He called the cops to declare his mom missing but their investigation lead them to considered him a suspect in her death. A saw was recovered from McLean’s Bronx apartment. The New York Post reports that McLean shared the apartment with his mother. DNAinfo.com reports that McLean gave the cops a photo of his mother, which was used to ID Bryd’s severed head.
Though he has history of violence, according to a relative interviewed by the Daily News, the murder still shocked the family.
“He’s acted out in violent ways before, but I never thought he could do something like this,” said one relative. “Not in a million years.”
The suspects aunt, Cassandra McLean, said that he told her that an old boyfriend of Byrd’s dropped by their apartment yesterday and said that was the last time anyone saw her. “He [the ex-boyfriend] came over yesterday and walked out with her in the morning, yesterday morning,” McLean said. “That’s what her son told me on the phone just now.”
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Byrd’s dismembered body was found around 5 a.m. Tuesday by a dog walker who saw the woman’s leg poking from a pile of garbage. Her body was stuffed into a duffel bag and three heavy duty plastic bags. Some of Byrd’s remains were still in the clothes she was wearing at the time of her death. The body parts were found less than a half-mile from her son’s Bronx home.
Watch news story on Bryd’s death below:
McLean suffers from learning disabilities and grew up in foster care, according to his aunt, Cassandra McLean. Byrd worked as a private nursing aide, had two adult children and a 7-year-old son, Nasyr, with Down syndrome. She is described by friends and family as a caring parent who adored her youngest child.
“She’s a loving mother, very devoted to her son,” said McLean. “That’s what she lived for. That’s her joy in life.”
A friend told the Daily News that Byrd was a “a good person and a good mom. No one gives her trouble. She gives no one trouble. She’s a quiet, hardworking woman.”
“If you needed a cup of milk, she gave you a gallon,” said Elizabeth Cruz, another friend of Bryd’s.
The Daily News added that Byrd called in sick to work on Monday, and neighbors last spoke to her on Sunday. NYPD investigators are searching McLean’s second-floor apartment for clues.
Byrd’s remains were taken to the medical examiner’s office for an autopsy and positive ID.