San Francisco police today confirmed that a person of interest in a murder case involving a dismembered body found inside a suitcase in the city’s South of Market neighborhood died on Saturday.
Mark Andrus, 59, died at a hospital in San Francisco, but police declined to say how Andrus died or why he was seeking medical care.
Police have also declined to say where Andrus died, but a spokeswoman for San Francisco General Hospital said he was not a patient there.
Public Defender Jeff Adachi, whose office had planned to represent Andrus, said he was sorry to learn that Andrus had died.
“During the short time I represented Mark, I found him to be a kind and engaging person,” Adachi said in a statement.
Police arrested Andrus on Jan. 31 in connection with a case in which body parts were found in a suitcase at 11th and Mission streets on Jan. 28, San Francisco police Officer Grace Gatpandan said.
Additional remains were found in a trashcan half a block away from the original scene. Police said some of the body parts were missing, but declined to say which ones.
Police had identified Andrus after receiving an anonymous tip on Jan. 30 reporting that a person of interest seen in photos released to the public earlier that day could be found in the 400 block of Turk Street,
San Francisco prosecutors declined to file charges pending further investigation and released him several days later.
The medical examiner’s office is working with the DNA lab at the state Department of Justice to try to identify the dismembered body.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call San Francisco police at (415) 575-4444.
Erin Baldassari, Bay City News