A distinct tattoo helped police tentatively identify a headless body found in Brooklyn’s Red Hook Channel earlier this week.
The mother of the woman told officers in the 76th Precinct that she recognized the tattoo after the NYPD released a photo of the Sanskrit tattoo asking the public for help identifying the body.
The mother told police that the ink on the woman’s left thigh was a tribute to the her aunt, NBC4 reported.
The woman’s identity has not been released, but police said she is from New Jersey. Her death is being treated as a homicide.
“If you saw where the dismemberment was, it could not possibly be an accident,” NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said, NBC4 reported.
The floating body was found on Tuesday around 11:20 a.m. by a couple walking their dog by Pier 44 near Conover and Reed streets.
“I said to my husband you know that looks like a body, no, it’s two pieces of wood,” the woman, asked to remain anonymous, told NBC4. “I kept staring at it and clearly the shape was a backside and two thighs.”
“It was brutal,” the Carroll Gardens man who found the body and asked not to be identified told the New York Post. “The woman wasn’t just murdered — she was butchered.
“This body was dismembered and the cuts looked clean like it was chainsawed.”
The man also said the legs were missing parts. An NYPD spokesman would not confirm at the time that the woman was “butchered.”
“I looked at it from a distance and thought ‘Hey, that’s a mannequin or a blow-up doll’” the man told Brooklyn Paper. “My wife said, ‘No, it looks like the shape of a woman — or what was a woman,’ so we moved closer and said, ‘Holy s—t, that’s a woman.’”
The woman’s unique tattoo is in Sanskrit, but possibly by someone who didn’t understand the language, experts told the New York Post.
“This is not how it should be written at all, but from what I can make out, that is what it says,” April Dechagas, a teacher at Jivamukti Yoga School, told the Post.
The medical examiner is conducting an autopsy, and police said the investigation is active.