Headless, dismembered torso washes up on NYC beach, police reportedly believe natural causes led to mutilation

News & Politics

New York police said a headless, dismembered torso washed up at a beach, and they believe they may know the identity of the victim.

The headless body was reported to police on the shore of Breezy Point Beach on Friday at about 12:21 p.m. The arms were missing from the torso, but the legs were still attached. EMS responded to the scene and pronounced the body dead.

Police sources told QNS News that investigators believed the body might have belonged to Irish filmmaker Ross McDonnell, who had been reported missing from his Brooklyn home since Nov. 10.

The 44-year-old was last seen leaving his home on a bike for a night-time ride. His bike was reportedly found locked up at the beach at Fort Tilden in the Gateway National Recreation Area, near Breezy Point Beach.

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“We believe the Irish filmmaker drowned and this is his torso,” said a police source with knowledge of the investigation to the New York Daily News.

Sources said there was indication that the man had committed suicide or that he was murdered. It’s possible that McDonnell went swimming and somehow drowned, according to sources.

Police reportedly believe that the body might have been mutilated through natural causes, including local marine life, sharp rocks, and the waves.

“It’s not uncommon with the churning current and rocks for this to happen,” said a police source to the New York Daily Post.

Police said the identity of the victim would be released after it was confirmed by DNA analysis and the victim’s family was notified.

McDonnell was originally from Dublin and garnered three Emmy nominations and two awards in his filmmaking career.

The office of the chief medical examiner is working to determine the cause of death.

Here’s a local news report about the incident:

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