After Brandy Odom’s remains were discovered scattered throughout Brooklyn’s Canarsie Park in April 2018, her roommates, Cory Martin and Adelle Anderson, quickly came under suspicion.
Now, nearly two-and-a-half years after the gruesome crime, Martin, 33, and Anderson, 32, are facing federal wire fraud and aggravated identity theft charges in connection with Odom’s murder.
The arrests follow Anderson’s confession during an interview with law enforcement last week that Martin killed Odom by strangling her, after which Anderson helped him dispose of the body. The case made headlines throughout New York, and Odom’s funeral drew hundreds of mourners.
According to prosecutors, Martin and Anderson—who had been living with Odom in Queens before her death—conspired to take out two life insurance policies on the 26-year-old, worth a combined $200,000. Anderson allegedly posed as Odom when she applied for the policies and said she had a sister by the name Adelle Anderson who would be her beneficiary. Martin allegedly then killed Odom, and about two weeks later, Anderson tried to claim the money.
Anderson and Odom weren’t actually related. And Odom, who dreamed of being a flight attendant, was a sex worker under Martin’s control, prosecutors say. Both women referred to him as “daddy,” according to text messages investigators say they found on Martin’s phone.
“This term is common in sex trafficking, prostitution and related crimes and reflects the disproportionate power dynamic between the individual performing commercial sexual services and the individual profiting from those services,” says a detention memo filed by prosecutors.
In addition to text messages between Martin and Anderson in which they seem to be discussing buying life insurance in Odom’s name, they both reportedly left a vast trail of electronic bread crumbs pointing to their alleged crimes.
Three days before Odom’s killing, a cell phone in Martin’s name browsed “reciprocating saws” at HomeDepot.com. It eventually landed on a product page for a Dewalt 12-amp version that someone at a nearby Home Depot purchased later that day, along with five saw blades and a box of black garbage bags, in cash. That evening, Martin’s phone was used to search YouTube for “how to insert blade for reciprocating saw,” and “using reciprocating saw.”
The day after Odom’s murder, Martin’s phone was used to search the internet for, among other things, “eyewitness news nyc” and “breaking news nyc today.” The person using Martin’s phone clicked on an article titled, “Woman’s dismembered body found inside Canarsie Park,” as well as a Twitter post that read, “Person walking dog discovers remains of woman in Brooklyn park.” A day later, Martin’s phone searched YouTube once again, typing in: “exclusive interview of mother of girl found in park.”
On April 26—17 days after Odom’s dismembered body was found in pieces inside several black garbage bags—Anderson allegedly placed a call to insurer Globe Life. Posing as Odom’s sister, prosecutors say, she inquired about filing a claim as the beneficiary of Odom’s policy.
“When the representative asked whether Odom’s death had been ‘natural, an accident, homicide or suicide,’ Anderson responded, ‘the third one,’” says a complaint filed in Brooklyn federal court.
Two months later, Anderson allegedly placed a call to the American National Life Insurance Company. She told a claims rep that a “family member that had a policy with you guys has passed,” according to the complaint.
Representative: How did she pass?
Caller: Um. She—somebody did it to her.
Representative: So it’s a homicide?
Caller: Mm-hmm. Hate saying it. It’s just, it’s unbelievable.
Representative: And your name?
Caller: My name is Adelle Anderson.
Representative: And your relation?
Caller: That’s my sister.
Representative: OK, hang on one second. OK. Can I get a contact number for you?
Caller: Uh, [phone number].
Representative: What’s the name of the funeral home that was used?
Caller: I had—I don’t know. I, um, didn’t have anything to do with the funeral for her. I am not sure.
In the end, the two never got their payout. If convicted, they now face up to 22 years in prison. Lawyers for Martin and Anderson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.