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Affidavit: Baggage claim tag leads to murder charges for man following discovery of remains in suitcases

City of Denver workers discovered the remains of 33-year-old Joshua Lockard in the Mar Lee neighborhood on Dec. 29.

DENVER — A baggage claim tag led to the arrest of a 28-year-old man who has subsequently been charged with murder after a man's remains were found in two suitcases in Denver on Dec. 29, according to a Denver Police (DPD) affidavit.

Benjamin Satterthwaite, 28, is charged with:

  • One count first-degree murder
  • One count tampering with a deceased human body.

He is accused of killing and dismembering Joshua Lockard, Denver District Attorney Beth McCann announced Tuesday.

> The video above aired Dec. 30 and is the initial report from when the suitcases were discovered.

DPD responded to the Dec. 29 call after Denver Parks and Recreation workers found a black and a purple suitcase, one with a human foot sticking out of it, on the side of the street in the 1700 block of South Java Way in the Mar Lee neighborhood, the affidavit says.

The affidavit says responding investigators found a baggage claim sticker that looked like it had been on a recent flight with the name "Satterthwaite" on it. Investigators later learned the sticker on the suitcase was associated with a United Airlines flight that landed in Denver on Dec. 21, according to the affidavit.

The Denver Office of the Medical Examiner on Jan. 15 identified the remains as belonging to Lockard, 33. His cause of death is still under investigation.

Satterthwaite is accused of killing Lockard and then dismembering his corpse before placing it inside the suitcases, according to the DA.

RELATED: Arrest made after human remains found in suitcases left on side of road

On Jan. 1, police were called to an apartment off of South Federal Boulevard for an overdose death, according to the affidavit.

When officers arrived to the apartment they found a woman dead from an apparent overdose and an unconscious man possibly suffering from an overdose, the affidavit says. 

The man was taken to a hospital in serious condition, the affidavit says.

A homicide detective working the body in the suitcases case had coincidentally been assigned to investigate the overdose death case.

When the detective arrived at the apartment, he learned the man who survived the drug overdose was Satterthwaite, the affidavit says.

The detective noticed a black suitcase similar to the one found on Java Way, suspected blood on a chair and table, trash bags with cushions that contained possible blood and cleaning supplies that indicated the location had recently been cleaned, according to the affidavit.

After getting a search warrant for the apartment, detectives found an excessive amount of blood on a couch, the affidavit says.

Over the next two days, detectives interviewed multiple people associated with the victim, Lockard, and Satterthwaite, the affidavit says.

Satterthwaite was arrested on Jan. 7. He's currently being held in the Denver Detention Center without bond.

Police said previously they believe the victim and suspect knew each other.

RELATED: 2 new arrests made after 3 bodies found in Conejos County

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