A Patchogue man pleaded not guilty to charges of concealment of a human corpse, after, prosecutors and police said in court records, he confessed to using an ax to chop up a woman's body.  Credit: Newsday staff

A Patchogue man was charged with concealing a human corpse after he confessed to using an ax to chop up a woman's body and hide her body parts in various places in Suffolk County, prosecutors and police said in court records.

Garry Cowell, 72, pleaded not guilty Friday in First District Court in Central Islip, where he was arraigned on charges that also included tampering with physical evidence by concealing or destroying it.

He was not charged in connection with the woman's death. The cause of death was not released.

Cowell was last seen with the victim, who was not identified. The woman was last seen June 13 walking toward Cowell's home, Assistant District Attorney Patrick Fedun said.

“When she passed away, rather than attempt to render aid, he took an ax and butchered her and put the pieces of her body in a shopping cart,” Fedun said in court.

Suffolk police served a search warrant Thursday at Cowell's home, “where he admitted cutting up the victim's body and scattered them around Suffolk County,” Fedun said.

Cowell showed police different crime scenes and the ax used during the crime, Fedun said. Police said remains were found along Montauk Highway near Sills Road in East Patchogue.

Court documents say Cowell made a video confession. Police have not identified the victim, pending an autopsy.

Cowell's court-appointed attorney Jeremy Scileppi said Cowell was a lifelong resident of Suffolk County and is presumed innocent until proven guilty. He said Cowell, who appeared in court in a ripped T-shirt, lives in supportive housing and lived “in modest means.”

Prosecutors said he had a history of felony arrests in upstate New York, including burglary and robbery.

“The nature of these charges and to hinder a massive, widespread investigation indicates the defendant will not return to court for these crimes,” Fedun said, referring to the search for the victim.

Judge Pierce Cohalan set bail at $1 million cash or $2 million bond.

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