Four people are released without bail after being charged with concealing a human corpse, tampering with evidence and hindering prosecution, in connection with the human remains found last week in a Babylon park. NewsdayTV's Shari Einhorn reports. Credit: Newsday Staff; Photo Credit: Newsday / James Carbone; John Roca

This story was reported by John Asbury, Nicole Fuller and Michael O'Keeffe. It was written by Fuller.

Four people charged with concealing a human corpse and tampering with evidence in connection with the discovery of body parts belonging to two victims found strewed around parks on Long Island were released without bail Wednesday. 

Steven Brown, 44, Amanda Wallace, 40, and Jeffrey Mackey, 38, all of Amityville, and Alexis Nieves, 33, who police said is homeless, were each charged with first-degree hindering prosecution, tampering with physical evidence by concealing or destroying, and concealment of a human corpse, all felonies. They each pleaded not guilty. 

Authorities have not identified the victims, except to say one is a 53-year-old man and the other is a 59-year-old woman whose body parts were found in a Babylon park, a wooded area in West Babylon and Bethpage State Park.

Between Feb. 27 at 10:53 a.m. and Monday at 4:08 a.m., the defendants removed from their shared Railroad Avenue home in Amityville “sharp instruments, multiple body parts and other related items and dispose[d] of them to conceal the crime of murder in the second degree,” police said in charging documents.

The documents, written by Suffolk homicide detectives, said the defendants “did conceal, alter and destroy human body parts” and the “dismembered body parts were removed” from the home and were “concealed at multiple known locations.” 

During separate arraignments in Suffolk County District Court, Assistant District Attorney Frank Schroeder of the Homicide Bureau said authorities have significant evidence against the four defendants, including human remains, meat cleavers, butcher knives, significant amounts of blood and video surveillance. The prosecutor did not specify where the weapons and blood were found. 

Prosecutors also did not explain the relationships between the defendants, how they knew the victims or identify a potential motive. 

The defendants were released without bail and were ordered to not leave Suffolk County, wear GPS monitoring devices, report to probation weekly and surrender their passports.

Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney, in a statement, criticized the state's 2019 bail reform for making the crimes charged in the case not eligible for bail. 

“It is our understanding that the Suffolk County Police Department is still investigating these murders,” Tierney said. “Unfortunately, due to 'Bail Reform' passed by the New York State Legislature in 2019, charges relating to the mutilation and disposal of murdered corpses are no longer bail-eligible, meaning my prosecutors cannot ask for bail.”

The defendants, carrying small see-through plastic bags with some of their personal effects, each left court Wednesday shortly after being arraigned. They did not speak to reporters.

Nieves went to “barbaric lengths” to cover up the crime, Schroeder said. Nieves was recently “not domiciled” and was staying with her co-defendants at the Railroad Avenue home, Schroeder said. Nieves, according to the prosecutors, has a pending criminal possession of controlled substance charge. 

The Railroad Avenue home is now uninhabitable due to damage to the plumbing, toilet and sinks during the execution of a search warrant, Schroeder said. 

Mackey's defense attorney John Halverson said after the arraignment: “We have not received any discovery at this point. We maintain our innocence and look forward to receiving discovery and whatever evidence they have and we plan to fight this vigorously.” 

Brown's attorney Ira Weissman said of his client: “He’s shocked that he’s here and he is looking forward to his day in court.” 

Weissman said his client relayed “that he didn’t have anything to do with this and certainly didn’t kill anybody.”

The remains discovered at Bethpage State Park and in West Babylon are believed to belong to the same man and woman whose body parts were found last week at Southards Pond Park in Babylon, Suffolk police said.

Police said they are withholding release of the victims' identities pending notification of the woman's next of kin. Their last known address was in Yonkers, but it's not clear when they last resided there, police said. 

Police said in an earlier statement that the crimes were “an isolated incident” and there was no threat to the public. 

A group of high school students who were walking to school first discovered a man's arm last Thursday morning on the side of the road on Siegel Boulevard, between Mason and Park avenues, about 20 feet from the eastern edge of Southards Pond Park.

That discovery prompted a massive police search of the surrounding area, including a nearby cemetery, using K-9 units.

A man's severed arms were found on the east side of the park. And hours later, the remains of the woman — her head, left lower leg, right upper leg and arm — were found on the park's west side, near Babylon Elementary School, police said last week. 

A Suffolk police command post was set up for much of last Thursday and Friday near the intersection of Beverly Road and Ralph Avenue, with yellow crime scene tape obstructing public access to the park. Suffolk police were seen searching the park, as well as nearby North Babylon Cemetery, with the help of cadaver dogs. Investigators also were seen canvassing the area for home surveillance video.

More human remains were discovered Tuesday in the woods across from a home on Lakeway Drive in West Babylon, about three miles from where the woman’s remains were found in Southards Pond Park. The Suffolk County Police Homicide Squad and the Suffolk County Medical Examiner processed the scene, officials said.

Approximately eight miles away, additional remains were found in Bethpage State Park, police said. New York State Police and the Suffolk medical examiner processed that crime scene, police said.

There was no answer Wednesday at the Railroad Avenue house in Amityville, which sits beneath Long Island Rail Road tracks. The home's lights were on and clothes could be seen strewed across the floor inside.

Neighbors at surrounding homes either said they did not know the people that lived at the Railroad Avenue home or did not answer their doors Wednesday.

Suffolk police were seen conducting the search at the Amityville home early Tuesday morning. A Suffolk police command center vehicle was parked outside the home overnight, and two crime scene vehicles arrived at the home late Tuesday morning. Police were seen removing a brown bag from the home.

One neighbor said he saw police wearing SWAT gear enter the home with K-9 unit dogs late Monday.

Det. Lt. Kevin Beyrer, the commander of the homicide squad, said last week the remains of both victims did not appear to have been outside very long, perhaps just days or even hours, before they were discovered.

 On Wednesday afternoon, the resident of an adjoining duplex apartment was walking her dogs in the rain a day after police had searched her neighbors’ home.

Stephanie Lecky, 32, said she didn’t learn about the arrests until Tuesday while police were searching the house. She said she didn’t know her neighbors or how many people were living next door for the past two years.

“It’s very unsettling,” she said, adding she did not know of anything suspicious occurring next door. “That’s the most concerning part.”

Lecky said she was somewhat surprised her neighbors were released from custody but didn’t know where they were living after the home was deemed uninhabitable.

“It’s kind of crazy, but I guess that’s how the law is,” she said. 

With Shari Einhorn

Four people charged with concealing a human corpse and tampering with evidence in connection with the discovery of body parts belonging to two victims found strewed around parks on Long Island were released without bail Wednesday. 

Steven Brown, 44, Amanda Wallace, 40, and Jeffrey Mackey, 38, all of Amityville, and Alexis Nieves, 33, who police said is homeless, were each charged with first-degree hindering prosecution, tampering with physical evidence by concealing or destroying, and concealment of a human corpse, all felonies. They each pleaded not guilty. 

Authorities have not identified the victims, except to say one is a 53-year-old man and the other is a 59-year-old woman whose body parts were found in a Babylon park, a wooded area in West Babylon and Bethpage State Park.

Between Feb. 27 at 10:53 a.m. and Monday at 4:08 a.m., the defendants removed from their shared Railroad Avenue home in Amityville “sharp instruments, multiple body parts and other related items and dispose[d] of them to conceal the crime of murder in the second degree,” police said in charging documents.

WHAT TO KNOW

  • Four people charged with concealing a human corpse and tampering with evidence in connection with the discovery of human body parts strewed around parks on Long Island were released without bail Wednesday.
  • Steven Brown, 44, Amanda Wallace, 40, Jeffrey Mackey, 38, all of Amityville, and Alexis Nieves, 33, who police said is homeless, were each charged with first-degree hindering prosecution, tampering with physical evidence by concealing or destroying, and concealment of a human corpse. They pleaded not guilty.
  • Prosecutors did not explain the relationships between the defendants, how they knew the victims or identify a potential motive. 

The documents, written by Suffolk homicide detectives, said the defendants “did conceal, alter and destroy human body parts” and the “dismembered body parts were removed” from the home and were “concealed at multiple known locations.” 

During separate arraignments in Suffolk County District Court, Assistant District Attorney Frank Schroeder of the Homicide Bureau said authorities have significant evidence against the four defendants, including human remains, meat cleavers, butcher knives, significant amounts of blood and video surveillance. The prosecutor did not specify where the weapons and blood were found. 

Prosecutors also did not explain the relationships between the defendants, how they knew the victims or identify a potential motive. 

The defendants were released without bail and were ordered to not leave Suffolk County, wear GPS monitoring devices, report to probation weekly and surrender their passports.

Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney, in a statement, criticized the state's 2019 bail reform for making the crimes charged in the case not eligible for bail. 

“It is our understanding that the Suffolk County Police Department is still investigating these murders,” Tierney said. “Unfortunately, due to 'Bail Reform' passed by the New York State Legislature in 2019, charges relating to the mutilation and disposal of murdered corpses are no longer bail-eligible, meaning my prosecutors cannot ask for bail.”

The defendants, carrying small see-through plastic bags with some of their personal effects, each left court Wednesday shortly after being arraigned. They did not speak to reporters.

Nieves went to “barbaric lengths” to cover up the crime, Schroeder said. Nieves was recently “not domiciled” and was staying with her co-defendants at the Railroad Avenue home, Schroeder said. Nieves, according to the prosecutors, has a pending criminal possession of controlled substance charge. 

The Railroad Avenue home is now uninhabitable due to damage to the plumbing, toilet and sinks during the execution of a search warrant, Schroeder said. 

Mackey's defense attorney John Halverson said after the arraignment: “We have not received any discovery at this point. We maintain our innocence and look forward to receiving discovery and whatever evidence they have and we plan to fight this vigorously.” 

Brown's attorney Ira Weissman said of his client: “He’s shocked that he’s here and he is looking forward to his day in court.” 

Weissman said his client relayed “that he didn’t have anything to do with this and certainly didn’t kill anybody.”

The remains discovered at Bethpage State Park and in West Babylon are believed to belong to the same man and woman whose body parts were found last week at Southards Pond Park in Babylon, Suffolk police said.

Police said they are withholding release of the victims' identities pending notification of the woman's next of kin. Their last known address was in Yonkers, but it's not clear when they last resided there, police said. 

Police said in an earlier statement that the crimes were “an isolated incident” and there was no threat to the public. 

A group of high school students who were walking to school first discovered a man's arm last Thursday morning on the side of the road on Siegel Boulevard, between Mason and Park avenues, about 20 feet from the eastern edge of Southards Pond Park.

That discovery prompted a massive police search of the surrounding area, including a nearby cemetery, using K-9 units.

A man's severed arms were found on the east side of the park. And hours later, the remains of the woman — her head, left lower leg, right upper leg and arm — were found on the park's west side, near Babylon Elementary School, police said last week. 

A Suffolk police command post was set up for much of last Thursday and Friday near the intersection of Beverly Road and Ralph Avenue, with yellow crime scene tape obstructing public access to the park. Suffolk police were seen searching the park, as well as nearby North Babylon Cemetery, with the help of cadaver dogs. Investigators also were seen canvassing the area for home surveillance video.

More human remains were discovered Tuesday in the woods across from a home on Lakeway Drive in West Babylon, about three miles from where the woman’s remains were found in Southards Pond Park. The Suffolk County Police Homicide Squad and the Suffolk County Medical Examiner processed the scene, officials said.

Approximately eight miles away, additional remains were found in Bethpage State Park, police said. New York State Police and the Suffolk medical examiner processed that crime scene, police said.

There was no answer Wednesday at the Railroad Avenue house in Amityville, which sits beneath Long Island Rail Road tracks. The home's lights were on and clothes could be seen strewed across the floor inside.

Neighbors at surrounding homes either said they did not know the people that lived at the Railroad Avenue home or did not answer their doors Wednesday.

Suffolk police were seen conducting the search at the Amityville home early Tuesday morning. A Suffolk police command center vehicle was parked outside the home overnight, and two crime scene vehicles arrived at the home late Tuesday morning. Police were seen removing a brown bag from the home.

One neighbor said he saw police wearing SWAT gear enter the home with K-9 unit dogs late Monday.

Det. Lt. Kevin Beyrer, the commander of the homicide squad, said last week the remains of both victims did not appear to have been outside very long, perhaps just days or even hours, before they were discovered.

 On Wednesday afternoon, the resident of an adjoining duplex apartment was walking her dogs in the rain a day after police had searched her neighbors’ home.

Stephanie Lecky, 32, said she didn’t learn about the arrests until Tuesday while police were searching the house. She said she didn’t know her neighbors or how many people were living next door for the past two years.

“It’s very unsettling,” she said, adding she did not know of anything suspicious occurring next door. “That’s the most concerning part.”

Lecky said she was somewhat surprised her neighbors were released from custody but didn’t know where they were living after the home was deemed uninhabitable.

“It’s kind of crazy, but I guess that’s how the law is,” she said. 

With Shari Einhorn

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