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Three separate suitcases floating in Florida’s waterway contain the remains of one woman

Police in South Florida on Monday enlisted the public’s help in identifying a woman whose remains floated down a waterway in three separate suitcases last week.

The Delray Beach Police Department held a press conference to provide clues as to whose body parts were found Friday in the Intracoastal Waterway near Palm Trail.

Delray Beach is about 30 miles north of Fort Lauderdale.

Delray Beach Police Chief Russ Mager said Monday that a briefcase was initially discovered in the waterway “which was believed to have human remains hanging outside the briefcase.”

Delray Beach Police Chief Russ Mager details the investigation in Delray Beach, Florida, on July 24, 2023. (Delray Beach Police Dept via Facebook)

During the media briefing, Mager said, police also received reports within a few hours of two other suitcases drifting south of the location where the first suitcase containing human remains was found.

“We were able to determine that the remains in this suitcase, the two suitcases, were also human remains. And all three briefcases were believed to be the same person, the same victim as the original briefcase that was found,” Mager said.

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Sergeant Casey Kelly, who also spoke at the press conference, said the woman whose remains were found is Hispanic or white. She is between 35 and 55 years old and about 5’4.

The woman may have had tattooed eyebrows and may have been placed in the waterway as early as July 17 or Thursday, Kelly said.

He said researchers are focusing on an area near the waterway that extends about a mile.

“We are asking for the public’s help in assessing video surveillance cameras during that period,” he said. “We ask that you specifically look for unusual vehicles or people and certainly anyone carrying or moving luggage.”

Kelly continued, “The stretch of waterway is very large and that’s part of the reason we’re gathering today and asking for the public’s help. … But it is a very daunting task. So we’re asking the audience to do some of that leg work for us.

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Police said in a statement that the female victim was wearing a floral tank top with a black singlet and black shorts that hit mid-thighs. The floral tank top, researchers said Monday, may have been made in Brazil.

When Kelly was asked by a reporter on Monday whether there might be a violent suspect on the loose and whether the public should be warned, he said investigators “believe it to be an isolated incident.”

The victim’s remains were taken to the local medical examiner’s office for examination, Kelly said.

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com

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