Markham residents find body parts in bags relative brought from Kentucky: police

A man agreed Thursday to be extradited back to Kentucky, where he’s charged with carrying dismembered body parts believed to be of his girlfriend.

Melvin Martin Jr. allegedly brought luggage “filled with human remains” with him on a Greyhound bus from Kentucky to downtown Chicago before bringing it to the Markham home, according to Markham city spokesman Michael Taylor.

When he arrived at his parents’ home with two bags that looked like they would contain clothes, he repeatedly asked relatives for clothing during his stay, authorities said. When Martin visited the Markham Public Library on Monday afternoon, the relatives looked in the bags, found the human remains and called police.

Officers responded to the home, found the remains and took Martin into custody at the library, Taylor said.

Martin was charged with being a fugitive from justice, Taylor said.

But that charge was dropped at a hearing Thursday at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse when Martin agreed to not fight extradition and return to Kentucky to face charges in the state including murder, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence.

Judge Susana Ortiz said Kentucky authorities would pick Martin up for transfer within 30 days and ordered him held without bail at the Cook County Jail until then.

Martin said little during the hearing, only answering questions with a “yes” or a “no.”

Martin was accessing the IRS website on a library computer at the time of his arrest, Markham Police Chief Terry White said during a news conference Wednesday.

The body parts appeared to belong to Martin’s 31-year-old girlfriend, White said. The couple lived together in Kentucky, and he said some remains were also found in Kentucky. 

A deputy coroner in Louisville identified the remains as Ladawndra Ellington.

He said Martin appeared to be “remorseful” while speaking with investigators.

“He indicated that, as grotesque as it might sound, that he still wanted to be with her, at least part of her,” White said.

Martin is expected to make an initial court appearance on Thursday morning, authorities said. Additional charges are pending in Cook County and in Kentucky.