Molinelli said the K-9 units with the Bergen County Sheriff’s Department found the body parts at 1:57 p.m. Monday. Authorities are classifying the incident as a homicide, and it is currently under investigation by the Major Crimes Unit of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, Molinelli said in a news release.
A law enforcement source said the victim is believed to be Francisco Gonzalez, 46, who was reported missing a few days ago. The police dog started at Gonzalez’s Palisade Avenue apartment and walked down Cliff Street and found the torso and the head in a bag behind a church on Cliff Street, the source said. The victim’s arm and some knives were found up the street near a house under construction, the source said.
The body parts have been transported to the medical examiner’s office, which will conduct a forensic exam to identify the victim and the cause of death, Molinelli said.
Marc Snyder, owner of The Club House Café on Palisade Avenue, said he called Gonzalez’s sister on Sunday when he didn’t show up for work around 4 p.m. The sister contacted the authorities, Snyder said.
Snyder said police told him the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office got involved when they found blood outside Gonzalez’s apartment. He said police called him Monday at 10:30 a.m., and at noon he went to the scene where the body parts were found, although he did not view them.
Gonzalez, who worked at the café for 15 years as a prep cook, had just returned from El Salvador on Dec. 20 where he had surgery to remove a cyst in his eye, Snyder said. He said Gonzalez seemed different after this latest trip; he traveled to the country frequently and sent money home to his mother. Snyder even helped Gonzalez obtain his green card, although he was unsure if he was a citizen yet.
Snyder described him as a nice guy, and employees at the café called him “Frisco.”
“He was a folk hero, believe it or not, everyone in town knows him,” he said.
Robert Issa, a Cliff Street resident, said police arrived in the neighborhood at 10 a.m. Monday. Issa, who has three closed circuit cameras mounted on the wall outside of his multi-family home, said police asked him for the footage. He said he did not ask them what they were looking for.
Filed Under: CLIFFSIDE PARK
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