Personal Assistant Arrested In Grisly Murder Of New York City Tech Whiz
Fahim Saleh was found decapitated and dismembered in his luxury Manhattan condo.
The former employee of a tech entrepreneur who was recently found decapitated and dismembered in a luxury condo complex on Manhattan’s Lower East Side was taken into custody on Friday.
On Tuesday, July 14, the sister of 33-year-old Fahim Saleh hadn’t heard from him in about a day. Worried, a cousin headed to his building. Police said she rang the intercom, possibly startling the killer, and made a gruesome discovery upon entering Saleh’s $2.2 million apartment.
According to the New York Times, the victim’s torso was located in the living room with the head, arms and legs severed and body parts stuffed in plastic contractor bags. A power saw was still plugged into a nearby outlet.
Detectives believe Saleh was killed the day before but that the murderer may have waited around 24 hours after the slaying to return to clean up the crime scene so the victim’s blood could coagulate and create less mess, The Daily Beast reported.
“There are no words or actions to provide any of us comfort except the capture of the person who exhibited nothing short of evil upon our loved one,” Saleh’s family noted of the grisly crime in a statement released July 15.
Two days later, the New York Police Department took Tyrese Devon Haspil, 21, into custody and charged him with second-degree murder, according to the New York Post.
Detectives recovered surveillance video from the apartment building that shows a person wearing a black three-piece suit, tie, mask and hood and carrying a large duffle bag enter an elevator with Saleh around 1:40 p.m. on July 13, the last day he was seen alive.
Saleh appeared suspicious of his killer after the person had trouble with the elevator, which requires a key fob to operate, the Daily Mail reported.
Saleh exited the elevator on the seventh floor when the doors opened directly into his apartment. Video reportedly shows the assailant zap him with a Taser and get into a struggle before the doors close again.
In surveillance footage, the attacker is also seen later using a portable vacuum to clean the elevator in a possible attempt to remove any trace evidence.
The New York Medical Examiner’s office said an autopsy revealed Saleh died from multiple stab wounds to the torso and neck.
Following the murder, detectives learned Haspil allegedly used the victim’s credit card to purchase cleaning supplies and a saw at Home Depot, the Times reported.
Saleh’s death may have been financially motivated. According to the New York Post, Haspil allegedly embezzled tens of thousands of dollars from Saleh, who was the founding partner of the investment firm Adventure Capital and chief executive of the Nigerian-based motorcycle ride-sharing startup Gokada. The former employee allegedly then reneged on a payment plan Saleh brokered to get the funds back in lieu of reporting him to police.
Despite Saleh’s business issues, which also included a recent major setback related to GoKada, he appeared hopeful that everything would eventually turn out okay. He tweeted on June 2: “Have a very good feeling about 2020.”
Now, loved ones want the public to know that Saleh is “so much more” than the victim of a shocking crime.
“His brilliant and innovative mind took everyone who was a part of his world on a journey and he made sure never to leave anyone behind,” the family statement said.
Saleh, who was born in Saudi Arabia and raised in upstate New York, showed an early interest in the digital world. While still a high school student, he developed the popular app PrankDial, which reportedly earned him millions of dollars in revenue. His success only grew as he further branched out into other lucrative ventures and moved to New York City.
“Fahim found success at an early age and built on it year after year, while remaining grounded and committed to helping others,” his family said. “No matter what he did, he did it while thinking of the greater good and his family. His parents and his sisters were his light and he was theirs.”