Thursday, May 31, 2012
ZOMBIEWATCH 2012: This Baltimore Guy Ate Somebody’s Brain and Heart
The 21-year-old college student allegedly told detectives that he hadn't just killed the man who'd lived with his family for months, but had eaten his heart and portions of his brain. The victim's severed head and hands were found in the men's Harford County home; more remains were left in a trash container outside a church.
Authorities outlined the macabre circumstances Thursday in charges against Alexander Kinyua, an electrical engineering major at Morgan State University and member of his school's ROTC program, of first-degree murder in the death of 37-year-old Kujoe Bonsafo Agyei-Kodie, a Ghanaian national and a former master's degree student.
Kinyua's father reported that Agyei-Kodie went missing last Friday after going for a jog, but the investigation eventually led back to the family home. Kinyua was being held Thursday without bond, and authorities were exploring whether others participated in the crime or knew about it, based on what they called inconsistencies in statements made by the suspect's family.
Harford authorities said the killing was among the most brutal — and bizarre — they'd seen. The case comes on the heels of grisly incidents in Miami — where a naked man believed to be high on synthetic drugs known as "bath salts" ate another man's face — and New Jersey, where a man disemboweled himself and reportedly threw his intestines at police officers.
Harford County Sheriff Jesse Bane said of the allegations against Kinyua: "I've been with the agency 40 years, and I would say this is the first time I can remember … where someone was placed under arrest in Harford County and as part of his crime he consumed the victim.
"I've not encountered that in this county, and I hope we never encounter it again," he added.
Despite Kinyua's alleged confession, which a spokeswoman described as "matter-of-fact," police said they did not know of a motive for the crime and said they would not speculate on his mental state or whether drugs played a role. They were consulting with the FBI's behavioral analysis unit for guidance.
But accounts from Morgan officials and classmates, as well as social media postings by Kinyua, suggest he was growing increasingly troubled as his third year of school came to a close. In January, he was dismissed from the ROTC program after an outburst, and in May he was arrested for allegedly fracturing the skull of a classmate with a baseball bat. The classmate was blinded in one eye as a result of what campus police called a "random" attack.
His Facebook page includes commentary about the "destruction of the black family" and "mass human sacrifices."
"THIS IS THE BRUTAL BASIS, AN EVIL & TERRIFYING METHOD OF THIS DEATH CULTS," he wrote in one message.
Students familiar with Kinyua said he was well known around campus but regarded as odd. Jasmine Bloomfield said he was "always in his own little world, preaching everywhere he went and talking about how he was writing a book."
Natalie Fabien, 21, who had mutual friends with Kinyua, said his behavior was often unusual and he was prone to outbursts, but also showed genuine concern for others. "If anything ever happened to me, he'd be like, 'Who did it and why?' He always wanted to protect people from bad stuff," Fabien said.
Word of Kinyua's arrest was a hot topic Thursday around Morgan's campus, even though most of its 7,000 students are on summer break. "If you're part of the Morgan family, it's a big family, so word goes around fast," said Stephen Copeland, 28, a senior. "Everybody's in shock."
The victim, Agyei-Kodie, had also attended Morgan State on a student visa. He was dismissed by the university after a 2008 conviction in Baltimore County for a fourth-degree sex offense, harassment and stalking, resulting in an 18-month jail term. He also had attended Towson University for a time, a spokeswoman for that school confirmed.
Agyei-Kodie had lived with Kinyua's family in the 500 block of Terrapin Terrace in Joppa for about six months and did not know anyone else in the area, according to police reports. Kinyua's father, Antony, told police that Agyei-Kodie had recently been "depressed" after being apprehended on an immigration warrant and was facing likely deportation.
Police issued a public appeal Monday for help in finding Agyei-Kodie, who was said to have left for a jog at 5:30 a.m. on May 25 wearing a T-shirt and black athletic shorts. Monica Worrell, a county police spokeswoman, said investigators had concerns about statements made by Kinyua's family.
Late Tuesday night, Antony Kinyua notified police that his son, Jarrod Kinyua, had found what they believed were human remains in the basement of the house, according to charging documents. Upon their arrival, Jarrod Kinyua told police he found a human head and two human hands inside metal tins under a blanket in the laundry room.
When he asked Alexander Kinyua about the remains, Jarrod Kinyua said, his brother denied that they were human and said they were animal remains, according to charging documents. After calling his father downstairs, Jarrod and Antony Kinyua discovered that the remains had been moved and Alexander Kinyua was washing out the metal tins.
With a search-and-seizure warrant for the location, deputies were able to locate the head and hands on the main floor of the house, according to charging documents.