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Parolee, 83, charged with murdering, dismembering victim

Has a criminal record dating back to 1960s

March 30, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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An 83-year-old parolee has been arraigned on first-degree murder and other charges in connection with the death of a Brooklyn woman whose body parts were discovered inside and in the vicinity of the defendant’s East New York apartment.

District Attorney Eric Gonzalez identified the defendant as Harvey Marcelin, 83. She was arraigned Tuesday before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun on an indictment in which she is charged with first- and second-degree murder, tampering with physical evidence and concealment of a human corpse. 

According to the investigation, surveillance footage taken on Feb. 27, 2022, allegedly showed the victim, 68-year-old Susan Leyden, entering the defendant’s apartment on Pennsylvania Avenue in East New York. She was never seen leaving the apartment alive. 

Additional surveillance footage showed Marcelin allegedly rolling a wheeled shopping bag containing a black plastic bag on March 2, according to the DA’s Office. The victim’s torso was discovered in that bag in the early morning hours of March 3.

In a subsequent search of Marcelin’s apartment, police discovered the victim’s head and limbs, as well as blood, cleaning supplies, a hammer and a box containing an electric saw, the DA’s Office said. 

On March 7, one of the victim’s legs was found near a garbage can about three blocks away. In addition, surveillance video allegedly showed the defendant purchasing a saw and cleaning supplies in a Manhattan Home Depot around the time of the victim’s disappearance.

The Medical Examiner’s Office determined that the victim, who resided in Clinton Hill, suffered blunt force trauma to the head and other physical injuries to her body. The investigation revealed that the defendant and the victim lived in the same shelter in the Bronx in 2019, but the nature of their relationship is unclear.

In October 1963, Marcelin was convicted of first-degree murder in Manhattan, a fact that led to a first-degree murder charge in this case.

The defendant was ordered held without bail and to return to court on May 19, 2022. She faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted of the top count.

District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This shocking and horrific murder ended the life and desecrated the remains of a beloved member of the Brooklyn community, and her family and many friends continue to be in my prayers. Few crimes in my long career as a prosecutor rise to this level of extreme depravity, and we will vigorously pursue justice on Ms. Leyden’s behalf.”

The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Lana Schlesinger, of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau, and Assistant District Attorney Howard Jackson, First Deputy Bureau Chief of the Homicide Bureau.

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