Tyrese Devon Haspil,former personal assistant of Fahim Saleh 33,a young tech entrepreneur who was found decapitated and dismembered in his Manhattan apartment, was arrested on Friday at 8:45 a.m. in the lobby of an apartment building on Crosby Street in SoHo, where he had been staying with a female friend, and charged with the murder.
About the murder:
Fahim Saleh, was discovered dead on Tuesday afternoon by his cousin,who had gone to check in on him at his place, after not hearing from him for about a day. Investigators have concluded that Mr. Saleh was killed on Monday afternoon, the day before his body was found.
His head and limbs had been removed, and parts of his body had been placed in large plastic bags designed for construction debris. An electric saw was still plugged in nearby.
On the day of the murder, detectives believe that Haspil, dressed in a black three-piece suit,a black mask and latex gloves, and carrying a duffel bag, followed Mr. Saleh off an elevator that opened up in his apartment, tassed him as the two men left the elevator, then stabbed him to death.
Security video taken from inside the elevator showed that the killer later used a portable vacuum cleaner, perhaps in an effort to remove the particles left behind when the Taser was fired. He also used the vacuum inside the apartment.
After the murder,Haspil paid for a cab to a Home Depot on West 23rd Street in Manhattan, using a credit card, to get cleaning supplies. He returned to Mr. Saleh’s apartment the next day to dismember the body and clean up the crime scene.
Mr. Saleh died from multiple stab wounds to his neck and torso, the New York City medical examiner’s office determined on Thursday.
Initially, a law enforcement official had described the killing as a “hit” and said it looked “like a professional job.” But now some investigators theorize that the killer may have tried to make the grisly murder look like a professional assassination to give the appearance that it might be linked to an international business deal gone sour.
Several rookie mistakes,including buying the Taser online with his own credit card and signing for the package when it arrived in June,quickly led the police to Mr. Haspil, according to officials.
Detectives investigating the murder believe the killer’s work dismembering the body was interrupted when Mr. Saleh’s cousin buzzed from the building’s lobby,prompting him to flee through the apartment’s back door and into a stairwell before the cousin arrived.
According to officials with knowledge of the investigation,the former assistant,who handled Saleh’s finances and personal matters, had worked for Mr. Saleh since he was 16.It is also believed that he owed Saleh a significant amount of money.
Detectives believe that the motive for the killing stemmed from Mr. Saleh having discovered that Mr. Haspil had stolen roughly $90,000 from him. He fired Haspil, but did not report the theft and even offered to set up a repayment plan so he could return the money.
Saleh was born in Saudi Arabia to Bangladeshi parents who eventually settled near Poughkeepsie, N.Y., a small city on the Hudson River.
After graduating from Bentley University in Waltham, Mass 2009, he built an app called PrankDial that allowed users to send prerecorded prank calls.
Mr. Saleh went on to found Pathao, a motorcycle ride-sharing start-up in Bangladesh,and left that company in 2018 to begin a similar venture in Nigeria, an app known as Gokada.
At the time of his death, Mr. Saleh was the chief executive of Gokada.