The dismembered, headless body of a globe-trotting tech entrepreneur was discovered in his luxury Manhattan apartment on Tuesday afternoon.
And now cops are searching for the suspected killer, who sat in the lobby—wearing a black hood and mask—until he followed the victim into the elevator and stabbed him to death.
“He looks like the Grim Reaper,” one law-enforcement source told The Daily Beast.
The murdered man, identified by law-enforcement sources as 33-year-old Fahim Saleh, traveled frequently between New York and Nigeria to work on a motorcycle taxi startup, Gokada. He previously had a company in Bangladesh, where his parents lived before moving to the United States.
On Monday afternoon, Saleh walked into the building in shorts and a T-shirt and was followed into the elevator by the apparent assailant. The law-enforcement source said Saleh appeared suspicious when the man fumbled with the elevator, which requires the use of a key fob to open on a particular floor.
When the doors opened on the seventh floor, Saleh walked into his apartment and the man followed. A struggle ensued, but then the elevator doors closed, blocking the camera’s view of what happened inside the apartment after that. But an autopsy determined the cause of death was multiple stab wounds.
When police—alerted by the man’s sister on Tuesday afternoon—arrived at the Lower East Side condo complex, where the asking price for units starts at $2 million, they found a nightmarish scene: a torso with no head, arms or legs.
Beside the dismembered body were a number of ominous items, namely large plastic bags construction contractors use for trash and an electric saw still plugged in, police said.
“It wasn’t a sloppy crime scene,” the law-enforcement source said. “It wasn’t from what I saw, a bloody crime scene.”
The law-enforcement source said some body parts were missing, and investigators think the butcher may have been scared off by a relative trying to get into the apartment before he could finish disposing of the remains. In addition to the elevator, a stairway led from the apartment to the building exit.
Saleh was something of a whiz kid, making his first forays into internet commerce as a teenager by creating and selling websites. After graduating from college, he launched the app Prank Dial.
In 2015, Saleh helped created the popular ride-sharing company Pathao. In an Instagram post, the company said he “believed in the potential for technology to transform lives in Bangladesh and beyond. He saw the promise in us, when all we had was a common purpose and a shared vision.”
According to Saleh’s LinkedIn account, he also invested in the Colombian motorcycle ride-sharing company Picap. But his biggest venture was Gokada, the motorcycle taxi company in Nigeria. He said it had given a million rides since it started in 2018, but it recently ran into trouble.
The website Techpoint.africa reported this spring that a change in local laws governing motorbikes put the company on the skids. It laid off drivers and began looking for other sources of revenue.
“We still have money in the bank and are pivoting towards deliveries while this transport ban gets sorted. We were due to make a profit in January before the ban was announced,” Saleh told the site.