Ex-con Brian Williams, 36, has been charged with murder, arson and misdemeanor theft in connection with the death of 67-year-old Melody Gambetty :
Firefighters found her decapitated body while putting out a fire at her burning apartment in Clarksville, a town of 22,000 in Clark County, Indiana
Surveillance cameras footage and information from neighbors led investigators to the suspect, recent ex-con Brian Montez Williams
Cops allegedly found Gambetty’s head in a suitcase and ‘human digits’, such as fingers and toes, inside a plastic container at Williams’ home
Police said they do not believe Williams knew Gambetty and that the murder might have happened as the result of burglary attempt or home invasion
Williams is being held in the Clark County Jail without bond, his next court appearance is on Sept. 1, with trial to start Jan 18, 2022
A southern Indiana man has been charged with murder after firefighters found a woman’s decapitated, mutilated body inside her burning apartment in Clarksville, a town of 22,000 in Clark County, Indiana, located along the Ohio River just north of Louisville.
Later, cops allegedly found her head in a suitcase and ‘human digits’ – such as fingers and toes – inside a plastic container at the home of suspect Brian Williams, according to a probable cause affidavit obtained by WDRB.
Brian Montez Williams was arrested just mere hours after the attack.
Williams, 36, has been charged with murder, arson and misdemeanor theft in connection with the death of 67-year-old Melody Gambetty.
Police do not believe Williams knew Gambetty and that the murder might have happened as the result of burglary attempt or home invasion. He was ordered to be held without bond on Wednesday during his initial hearing in Clark County Circuit Court, during which a not guilty plea was entered on his behalf.
Investigators said a fire crew responding Tuesday morning to a fire at Gambetty’s apartment at a Clarksville apartment complex entered and found her body on the floor.
She had been decapitated and other body parts had been removed.
Clarksville Police Major Joe Demoss said during a news conference on Wednesday that Williams was quickly nailed down as a suspect after cops canvassed the area and retrieved surveillance video from nearby residents showing him with a suitcase.
Williams had also allegedly been knocking on doors in the neighborhood to ask people for community service work.
Surveillance footage shows Williams entering the complex at 12.42pm, according to the probable cause affidavit.
He then leaves carrying two suitcases to the victim’s car at 3.51pm.
Investigators executed a warrant against Williams’ home. Inside they found the missing body parts, as well as Gambetty’s identification card, credit and debit cards, the court records show.
‘Located inside one of the victim’s suitcases was a human cranium, with full facial tissue to include hair attached,’ the affidavit reads.
Cops also found a small, bloody handsaw in one of the suitcases, KDRB reported.
‘I had a conversation with her son this morning on the way to work and tried to explain to him what happened before it was in the media, but these cases are hard,’ Demoss told the outlet. Adding, ‘Yesterday’s crime scene in my 23 years is one of the most horrific we’ve been involved in.’
Clarksville Police Chief Mark Palmer said that in his 32 years as a police officer, he had ‘never seen anything like this.’ An autopsy will determine Gambetty’s official cause of death, but police said she appears to have stab wounds. Investigators believe Gambetty was killed Monday and that Williams returned to her apartment on Tuesday and started a fire to cover evidence.
Witnesses at the apartment complex reported that a young, suspicious but polite man was going door-to-door Monday attempting to solicit ‘community service work’, according to court records.
Prosecutor Jeremy Mull said Gambetty suffered ‘a violent death’. ‘It was a gruesome crime scene and it’s very important to me as the prosecutor that the perpetrator be held responsible,’ he said.
Mull said he was not certain if he would pursue the death penalty.
In court, Williams’ attorney pushed for him to be released from jail under supervision, but the judge decided to take the prosecutor’s recommendation of holding Williams in the Clark County Jail without bond.
In court, he was calm and answered the judge’s questions. Williams said he is not employed and doesn’t own any property or having any savings. When the judge asked him if he understood the charges against him, he said, “I completely understand.” He also said he has family and friends who will hire a defense attorney for him.
His next court date is on Sept. 1, with his trial scheduled for January 18th, 2022.