A 24-year-old Nigerian, Alex Jude Akpan, has been arrested by authorities in the US after the remains of a woman were found stashed in his bedroom.
Akpan has been charged with tampering with evidence of a human corpse.
According to reports, the woman, who has been identified as a 21-year-old fellow Nigerian named Titi, was discovered in a recycling bin.
Akpan’s mother was said to have discovered Titi’s remains at the home in the 9600 block of Wellsworth Drive, near Bissonnet and Eldridge Parkway west of the Alief area, according to court records.
Akpan was arrested around 7 p.m. Thursday.
“He came back from somewhere and one of the sheriff’s asked him, ‘Are you Alex,’” said Brandon Nguyen, who lived in the neighbouring duplex with Akpan.
“He said, ‘Yeah,’ and they told him to put his hands up.”
A $10,000 bond was set for Akpan, who is scheduled to be arraigned on Oct. 8.
Harris County Assistant District Attorney John Denholm demanded a stiffer bond of $100,000, citing the belief of detectives that the woman died of foul play. The motion was rejected.
Akpan could face a murder charge, Denholm noted in court records, depending on the results of the autopsy.
She was described by the Harris County Institute for Forensic Sciences as a young, black woman about 5 feet, 6 inches tall and 162 pounds with medium-length, black hair. She was wearing large, yellow hoop earrings in one ear, olive green pants and a black and white striped jersey emblazoned with a “NYC Classic” logo.
The shirt had what appeared to be an orange stain.
After being shown a photo of the dead woman, neighbour McArthur Hicks said he had seen her jogging and listening to music outside the home several times in the past three to four months.
He last saw the woman the weekend before her body was found.
“I thought she was moving or something because I saw her and a taller black guy putting stuff into his car,” said Hicks, who identified the man as Akpan.
“They were both walking out with clothes and putting them in his car.”
Hicks said he had seen her wearing the same striped jersey shown in photos from the medical examiner.
A news release from the Harris County Institute for Forensic Sciences stated the woman had a gray Hanes hoodie tied around her waist. She was not wearing shoes or socks.