A Louisiana man was arrested on Tuesday — after police investigating his girlfriend’s disappearance reportedly discovered a headless torso in his freezer.
New Orleans police searched Benjamin Beale’s home days after questioning him about the whereabouts of his girlfriend, Julia Dardar, 36, who was reported missing by her estranged husband on December 23. The husband said Dardar, who was last seen in November, had left him and moved in with Beale, 34, according to The Times-Picayune.
Days before his home was searched, Beale allegedly told police that Dardar may have died by suicide or overdosed. He also claimed Dardar had moved out but had left all her belongings, including her car, The Times-Picayune reported.
However, police said a search of Beale’s home produced a dismembered, decapitated torso inside a deep freezer that was in a bus parked in Beale’s backyard.
“Upon opening the lid of the freezer, investigators observed the headless torso of what appeared to be an adult human female,” the affidavit stated, according to WLOX. “A deep linear cut was visible along the left shoulder/upper arm area, which appeared to have been inflicted post-mortem.”
New Orleans police sources told WDSU that many of the body parts were wrapped in plastic.
The torso was reportedly close to a reciprocating saw that had fluids and flesh on the blade. Detectives said goggles, garbage bags, and a face shield were also near the torso, WLOX reported.
Police have not confirmed whether the torso is Dardar’s, and Beale has not been criminally charged in connection with her disappearance and death. However, authorities have accused him of running a methamphetamine lab at his New Orleans home.
After refusing to answer questions about the torso, Beale was charged with obstruction of justice, illegal carrying of a weapon in the presence of controlled dangerous substances, distribution of methamphetamine, possession with the intent to distribute marijuana, and creating or operating a clandestine drug lab.