A San Francisco man arrested on suspicion of murder in connection with a dismembered body found in a suitcase left on a city street will not face charges due to insufficient evidence, prosecutors said on Tuesday.
Mark Jeffrey Andrus, 60, was arrested early on Saturday and was being held without bail as investigators tried to determine whether he had killed the male victim and stuffed his body parts in the suitcase, abandoning it near a Goodwill store last week.
“At this stage of the case, the Medical Examiner has yet to determine a cause of death or issue a positive identification of the victim,” the San Francisco District Attorney’s office said in a statement.
“Until we have the evidence necessary to prove this case beyond a reasonable doubt, we are ethically obligated to hold off on charging this suspect,” the statement said.
Andrus was taken into custody after police circulated his surveillance photo taken near where the suitcase was abandoned, police said. Other body parts were found nearby, police said.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the body’s hands and head were missing, making identification difficult.
The newspaper also reported on Tuesday that authorities were trying to determine whether the body parts belonged to Andrus’s former roommate, who went missing weeks ago.
A call to the San Francisco public defender’s office was not immediately returned. Andrus’s assigned counsel told the Chronicle he intended to enter a not guilty plea if charges were leveled.
(Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere in Seattle; Editing by Cynthia Johnston, Eric Beech and Ken Wills)