A woman, 27, has been charged with murder and a 38-year-old man with assisting an offender after a woman’s dismembered body was found stuffed into two suitcases in the Forest of Dean on Tuesday.
Gareeca Conita Gordon, 27, of Birmingham, will appear before Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court via video link on Saturday accused of killing the victim on or before May 12.
Gloucestershire Police said Mahesh Sorathiya, 38, of Wolverhampton, would be appearing alongside Gordon in court. The pair have been refused bail.
A police spokesman said: ‘Police are awaiting results of DNA tests to establish the identity of the victim.’
It follows the grisly discovery of human remains close to a quarry, near Coleford in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, late on Tuesday night.
Police carrying out searches and door to door enquiries in Birmingham. Two people have since been charged in connection with the discovery and murder arrests after body parts were found in the Forest of Dean on Tuesday night
A police search team were yesterday scouring through woodland, pictured, next to Stowfield Quarry in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire. A man and woman are due to appear before magistrates in Cheltenham on Saturday
Police carrying out searches and door to door enquires in Birmingham in connection to the discovery. A woman, 27, and man, 38, will appear before Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court on Saturday
Police were alerted after a member of the public reported suspicions about a car due to its erratic driving.
The vehicle was located a short while later and two people were spoken to, leading to the discovery of two suitcases containing a human torso and body parts.
The force earlier said a post-mortem examination was found to be inconclusive and further examinations were ongoing to establish the cause of death.
Officers raided properties in Birmingham and Wolverhampton as they raced to identify the female victim.
A man and woman were arrested on suspicion of murder and held in custody, with a Vauxhall Corsa also seized. One of the properties – the suspected murder scene – was described as being ‘like an abattoir’.
A source close to the investigation told The Sun: ‘It was like a bloodbath, they found a circular saw and the woman had been cut up the middle.’
Detectives were yesterday given an extra 36 hours to question the two people.
Police carrying out searchers and door to door enquiries in Birmingham. Officers raided properties in Birmingham and Wolverhampton as they raced to identify the female victim
Police, pictured in woodland next to Stowfield Quarry in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, continue to search for clues today as the murder inquiry entered its third full day. A roadblock was also in place along the A4136
Officers, for the third day in a row, continued to search the scene of the arrests – a quarry near the village of Staunton.
A huge area of the countryside was cordoned off, though no other body parts have been found in the woodland as originally feared. Sniffer dogs were also utilised by officers on Friday, with trained spaniels seen searching through the area in the afternoon.
A roadblock was in place along the A4136 between Monmouth and Coleford as forensic officers swooped on the area. Three tents were erected at the entrance to Stowfield Quarry, which is accessed via the B4228.
A resident living near the quarry told how a strange burning smell hung around in the air just before the two people were arrested.
The man said: ‘It was an unusual smell of burning, it definitely wasn’t a bonfire because I burn a lot of wood on my property and it was nothing like it.
‘I noticed it about 9.30pm on Tuesday night. It was actually strong enough for me to smell inside the house. I actually came outside to see what it was. I’ve never smelt anything similar around here.
West Midlands Police carrying out door to door enquiries. The force earlier said a post-mortem examination was found to be inconclusive and further examinations were ongoing to establish the cause of death
A road closure was still in place yesterday as police remained at the scene, pictured, after a torso was found in a suitcase. Police thanked local residents and drivers impacted by road closures for their patience throughout the investigation
‘The wind usually blows from the South West but on Tuesday it was coming from the North East direction – the area near to the quarry where the police are now. I couldn’t see anything, no fire or smoke, it was just the smell.
‘What it was, I can’t tell you but it was strange.’
Police also searched a container yard, near to the Regalrouge Dogue de Bordeaux grooming parlour.
A Gloucestershire Police spokesperson said on Friday afternoon: ‘A post-mortem examination yesterday was found to be inconclusive and further examinations are ongoing to establish the cause of death. DNA testing is also ongoing to identify the female victim.
‘Searches have continued today around the area of Stowfield Quarry, near Coleford and some road closures remain in place in the surrounding area.’
Police thanked local residents and drivers impacted by road closures for their patience throughout the investigation.
Gemma and David Greenway, who breed dogs and run a grooming salon, rang the alarm after spotting a man entering a lorry trailer yard near their home on the outskirts of Coleford, and were left ‘shaken’ by the horrific find.
The quarry is on Staunton Road and the closed section also contains a fishery, a former sawmill which now contains storage units, several houses and a campsite.
‘I’m just so glad that David spotted him acting suspiciously and reported it,’ Mrs Greenway, 37, told a local Facebook site.
One resident said on Thursday: ‘The tents weren’t there when I went out this morning but they had appeared by the time I got back. I don’t know what’s going on but they say I can’t even walk along the road. Somebody said they had found a body and the police say the road will be closed all day.’
Forensic tents, pictured. The quarry is on Staunton Road and the closed section also contains a fishery, a former sawmill which now contains storage units, several houses and a campsite
Another resident who lives within the cordon earlier said: ‘I don’t know what’s happening.
‘I didn’t notice anything until I drove down the road and came to the road block. I asked if I could go through and they said yes but I might not be able to get back in again. One of the officers said the road might be closed for a few days so it must be serious.’
The main A4136 from Cinderford to Monmouth was blocked off at the bottom of the hill at Monmouth and there was a further roadblock at the Coleford traffic lights.
The roadblock at the lights was stopping traffic from Monmouth and Staunton turning right into Coleford or heading past the fishery to Berry Hill and beyond.
Both blocked-off sections of road would have caused chaos on a normal working day and key workers had to find detours through the lanes.
Senior Investigating Officer DCI John Turner said on Thursday afternoon: ‘The nature of this incident is distressing and we’re working around the clock to fully understand what has happened.
‘Someone’s life has been lost and our priority is to identify the victim and get answers for her family.
‘Searches have taken place in the surrounding area for evidence gathering and contrary to media reports no remains have been found as part of these searches.
‘Our Major Crime Investigation Team is working in collaboration with the West Midlands Police homicide team to carry out further enquiries.’