Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP File PhotoSan Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Justin Smith (94) smiles during the second half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals in Santa Clara

Witness describes scene where SF police discovered dismembered body

San Francisco police were searching for suspects Thursday in connection with the discovery of dismembered body parts found in a suitcase and near the suitcase in South of Market on Wednesday.

A witness who works at the Firestone Complete Auto Care on Mission and 11th streets told The San Francisco Examiner that it appeared officers found some body parts in a trashcan. After two officers blocked off the intersection and searched the area Wednesday, witness Bernardo Pinto said they came across a trashcan on Mission Street.

“I saw them looking through the garbage can and saw him get surprised or shocked by what he saw,” Pinto said. “He jumped back.”

Pinto said officers searched the area about 4:15 p.m. for half an hour before they made the trashcan discovery.

“I asked him what he saw and he said, ‘You don’t want to know,” Pinto said.

Witnesses and surveillance footage provided police with a description of people possibly connected to the case.

One female and two males were detained and questioned by police but later released, said Officer Grace Gatpandan.

Police responded to the scene three minutes after they received a 911 call at 4:15 p.m. from a citizen reporting a “health hazard” inside a suspicious box, Gatpandan said.

Police have yet to determine whether the dismembered body parts are from one or two individuals, or whether it is a homicide. The state of decomposition and gender of the person are unknown at this time.

Bay Area NewsCrimeCrime & CourtsDismembered bodyHomicidesuitcase

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