A woman whose remains were found at several locations on Long Island earlier this month appears to have been stabbed to death before she was dismembered, a law enforcement source said Monday.
The remains, believed by investigators to be those of Chinelle LaToya Browne, 27, of Brooklyn, were discovered in Bay Shore and Hempstead in the days after she was listed as missing July 8.
The most recent discovery was a human head found Thursday night in Hempstead. Police are awaiting DNA results to confirm the identity of the remains.
Investigators are focusing on at least one person of interest in the case who has had residences in Brooklyn and Long Island, according to the source, who didn't want to be identified.
Browne, an immigrant from Guyana with four children and a husband still residing there, disappeared from her apartment at 346 Sumpter St. in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn.
Items gathered by police from the building and at least one vehicle are being examined, the source said.
In the course of the investigation into Browne's disappearance, the source noted that police have uncovered a questionable transaction involving the building where she lived.
An apparently fraudulent deed was filed that bore the signature of the original owner who had been dead for about four months at the time of the filing, according to city records.
The indication that the victim died from stabbing comes from wounds on the remains, the source explained.
The Suffolk County Police Department is the lead investigating agency in the case.
But evidence that killing took place within New York City limits could put the matter under NYPD jurisdiction. A spokesman for Suffolk police didn't return an email request for comment Monday.
An NYPD spokesman declined to comment.
Browne's family, including her husband, had traveled to New York City after she disappeared but couldn't be reached for comment Monday.