Tania Byrd murder: New York man Bashid McLean accused of killing his mother, mutilating her body with a power saw and posing for smartphone photos with her severed head

23-year-old McLean and his friend William Harris have reportedly admitted cutting up the body and disposing of it in rubbish bins

A man has been accused of killing his mother, mutilating her body with a power saw and posing for photographs with her severed head.

Bashid McLean is said to have used a smartphone to photograph himself holding his mother’s head “like a trophy” in front of a bathroom mirror, according to the New York Post.

Before the grisly photographs were allegedly taken, McLean and a friend are said to have dissected the body of 45-year-old Tania Byrd using a power saw.

Both men have reportedly admitted chopping up Ms Byrd’s body and disposing of her remains in rubbish bins in a Bronx neighbourhood.

But NBC New York said law enforcement officials are claiming the pair are now “pointing the finger at each other” as to who committed the actual killing.

23-year-old McLean has been charged with second-degree murder and unlawful dissection of a human body, among other charges.

He apparently claims that he left the apartment he shares with his mother at around 3am on Monday morning to withdraw cash, only to find that his friend, 26-year-old William Harris, had stabbed his mother to death in his absence.

He reportedly says that Harris then threatened to kill him and his six-year-old brother as well, if they did not help dispose of the body.

Harris, who is charged with unlawful dissection among other charges, is believed to have a different story - claiming Byrd had already killed his mother, showed him a photograph of her body, and asked for his friend’s help in getting rid of the remains.

According to NBC, both men agree that they went to a hardware store in The Bronx to purchase a power saw and rubber gloves and then returned to the apartment to chop-up Ms Byrd’s body.

Police investigating the crime say attempts appear to have been made to clean bloodstains in the apartment with bleach, and added that the power saw was later found in the home of Harris’ girlfriend.

Surveillance video outside the flat apparently appears to show McLean and Harris carrying numerous bags out of the building’s elevator, before wheeling them away in a shopping trolley.

Several bags of Ms Byrd’s remains were later discovered by a man walking his dog through the neighbourhood.

NBC reported local residents as being in shock at Ms Byrd’s murder, with neighbour Chastily Agosto quoted as saying: “Every time you see her, she would have a smile on her face…How could a son do that to his mother?”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application Developer

£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Service Engineers - Doncaster / Hull

£27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Service Only Engineers are requ...

Recruitment Genius: Employability / Recruitment Adviser

£23600 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Employability Service withi...

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...