The dismembered and decapitated body of a tech executive was discovered Tuesday in his luxury condo on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, with an electric saw reportedly nearby.
The New York City Police Department identified the man in a statement to Oxygen.com as technology entrepreneur Fahim Saleh, 33.
A police source told The New York Post Saleh’s body parts were discovered stuffed into plastic bags near an electric saw. His arms had been removed, along with his legs below the knee, those sources said. His head was also discovered in the apartment.
A police spokesman told The New York Times that it appeared as though someone had tried to clean up some of the evidence at the scene.
The body was discovered by the victim’s sister around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday after she became concerned at not being able to reach him and went to the condo to check on him.
Police said the electric saw was still plugged into an electrical outlet when police arrived, suggesting Saleh’s sister may have interrupted the killer, according to the Times.
Surveillance footage taken from the building’s elevator showed Saleh riding up the elevator with another person, who was described as wearing a black suit and black mask that looked similar to a ninja costume, a law enforcement officer told the Times.
“He was dressed like a ninja, full out, so you can’t even see his face,” one source told The New York Daily News. “He clearly knew what he was doing. We think his intent was to get rid of the body parts and go back and clean it up and make it look like nothing happened. He left before he finished the job.”
The footage shows the elevator door open and Saleh stepping out to enter his apartment. The masked assailant is seen following close behind before the two begin to struggle.
Saleh’s sister is seen on the footage arriving at the scene some time later and authorities believe the suspect may have fled the condo by using a back staircase to avoid detection.
The slaying is being considered a homicide, but police have not yet released the cause of death.
“There are no arrests and the investigation remains ongoing,” police said in the statement.
Saleh’s death was also confirmed early Wednesday morning by Gokada—the motorcycle ride-sharing company the tech exec launched in Nigeria in 2018.
“We are deeply saddened to inform you about the sudden and tragic loss of our founder and CEO, Fahim Saleh. Fahim was a great leader, inspiration and positive light for all of us,” the company wrote in a statement on Twitter.
Saleh, who was born in Saudi Arabia before settling with his family in New York, honed his entrepreneurial skills early in life, generating an estimated $100,000 to $150,000 in profit while he was in high school in Rochester from a series of websites geared toward young people, according to a profile of Saleh in the blog Radiche.
After college, Saleh taught himself how to create apps and started the company KickBack Apps, he said on his LinkedIn profile.
One of his earlier successes was the app PrankDial, which could be used to make prank phone calls.
In 2015, he launched a ride-sharing company in his parent’s native country of Bangladesh called Pathao.
Just a few years later, he began the motorcycle start-up Gokada in Lagos, Nigeria.
The company hit a setback in February when Lagos banned the use of motorcycle taxis due to safety concerns, according to The New York Post.
But as the pandemic began to spread throughout the world, Saleh continued to adapt the company by launching a delivery service in the city.
One friend described Saleh to The New York Post as the “Elon Musk of the developing world.”
“He was like the Energizer bunny,” the friend said.
Those who live and work in the neighborhood where Saleh was killed were shocked by the grisly nature of the crime.
“It’s shocking. It’s gruesome,” resident Jason Rivera told The Post. “What could possibly be going through someone’s mind to decapitate him? Pure evilness.”
A worker at a nearby building told The New York Daily News that everyone in the neighborhood was “in shock.”
“Our residents feel a little uncomfortable and uneasy,” the worker said.
Saleh bought the condo last year for a reported $2.25 million.
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