Dismembered body suspect Mark Andrus leaves SF County Jail a free man. DA says case lacks of evidence. pic.twitter.com/Sdus0Exz6p— Lilian Kim (@liliankim7) February 4, 2015
The district attorney says they are very disturbed by the facts of the case, but there wasn't enough evidence to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. So the suspect will not be formally charged. It will likely be a relief for his best friend, who says he never believed he was guilty.
"It's a crying shame, but I'm supporting him," said Mark Keever. "I'm praying for him."
It was there at Keever's Tenderloin apartment on Friday that San Francisco police arrested his good friend Mark Andrus on suspicion of murder.
SF Public Defender says dismembered body suspect is "relieved" after hearing he'll be released for lack of evidence. pic.twitter.com/timpahQcJ7— Lilian Kim (@liliankim7) February 4, 2015
The 59-year-old Andrus was suspected of murdering a person whose headless torso was found in an abandoned suitcase last Wednesday. Other body parts were found nearby. Surveillance video obtained by ABC7 News shows the suspect lugging a suitcase down the street.
When asked if he ever had that suitcase in the apartment, Keever answered, "Not that I know of, no."
Keever says Andrus stayed there off and on over the past two years, and twice brought his roommate Omar Shahwan, whom the San Francisco Chronicle says investigators believe may be the victim.
"I knew Omar for two years, good guy," Keever said.
But police tell us that's speculation and the victim hasn't been identified.
"Investigators have been receiving inquiries from all over the country about concerned family members and friends who are worried that this person could be their loved one of theirs," said Sgt. Monica MacDonald.
Police and the medical examiner are trying to figure out who the victim is, what was the cause of death, and the murder weapon.
Former San Francisco Police Chief Tony Ribera says he's sure investigators have been retracing the suspect's steps trying to figure out where he's been in the last few weeks.
"See if you can't get search warrants to search those locations to see if there's any sign of a struggle, if there's any blood, any sign that would make it a crime scene," he said.
Under the law, Mark Andrus had to be released.
The case remains under investigation and authorities are asking anyone with information about the death to call the San Francisco Police Department's homicide unit at (415) 553-1145 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Anonymous tips can be left at (415) 575-4444.