Baggage Claim Sticker Leads to Suspect in Killing of Man Found Dead in Suitcase
Benjamin Satterthwaite was charged Tuesday with first-degree murder in the dismemberment death of Joshua Lockard
A Colorado man was charged Tuesday with first-degree murder in the killing of a man whose dismembered remains were discovered in two suitcases -- one of which was linked to the alleged killer.
Benjamin Satterthwaite, 28, was also charged with one count of tampering with a deceased human body in the death of 33-year old Joshua Lockard.
City employees plowing snow from a sidewalk along Sanderson Gulch in Denver on the morning of Dec. 29 found two suitcases: one purple and one black. One of the employees opened the purple suitcase, saw a foot and called 911, according to a Denver police affidavit obtained by PEOPLE.
At the scene, investigators noticed that the purple suitcase contained a baggage claim sticker "consistent with being placed after a recent flight," the affidavit states. "The bottom of the sticker, underneath the barcode, contained the name 'Satterthwait' and 'Den.'"
Inside the black suitcase, investigators discovered a torso in a black trash bag. Black duct tape was wrapped around the bag, the affidavit states.
After reviewing surveillance cameras in the area, detectives learned the suitcases were placed at the location by "occupant[s] of the dark colored SUV" just before 8 p.m. on Dec. 28.
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During the investigation, detectives contacted the Denver International Airport and learned that "the suitcase sticker was associated with a United Airlines flight that landed in Denver on December 21, 2020, at 8:53 a.m.," the affidavit states.
Coincidentally, police were called to Satterthwaite's apartment on Jan. 1 because of a reported overdose. There, officers found a person who died from a possible overdose, as well as Satterthwaite, who was unconscious and also possibly suffering from an overdose, the affidavit states.
Satterthwaite was transported to Swedish Medical Center in serious condition.
Inside the apartment, detectives allegedly saw suspected blood on a chair and pillow as well as a suitcase that matched the black suitcase found on the sidewalk. Police executed a search warrant and allegedly discovered blood in the bathroom and on a living room couch. They also allegedly found a receipt for a hacksaw and two-piece saw blades that were purchased on Dec. 27 and a bank card "with the name 'Joshua Lockard,'" according to the police affidavit.
Satterthwaite was arrested on Jan. 8.
A court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 25.
It is unclear if he has entered a plea. His attorney could not be reached for comment.