A man who was arrested and later released last week in connection with the case of a dismembered body found on a San Francisco street has died.
San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr told The San Francisco Chronicle Sunday that Mark Jeffrey Andrus, 54, had died after admitting himself to a local hospital Saturday. The cause of death has not been officially revealed, but the paper reported that Andrus died after going into septic shock due to "drug-related reasons."
"I'm very sad to hear of his passing," Andrus' attorney, Public Defender Jeff Adachi, said in a statement. "From what I can tell, Mark was a good person."
Andrus was taken into custody Jan. 30 at an apartment in downtown San Francisco after police received a tip on his whereabouts. Two days earlier, police had discovered a suitcase stuffed with human remains was found in the South of Market area of the city. A leg was found nearby among other debris.
However, Andrus was later released this past Tuesday after prosecutors determined there was not enough evidence to charge him in connection with the case.
"Until we have the evidence necessary to prove this case beyond a reasonable doubt, we are ethically obligated to hold off on charging this suspect," Alex Bastian, a spokesman with the San Francisco District Attorney's office, said at the time.
The investigation has been beset by several difficulties. The city medical examiner has not yet identified the man whose torso was found in the suitcase, and is awaiting the result of a DNA test from California's Bureau of Forensic Services lab. Authorities also do not know where the man may have been murdered, an important question for investigators who wish to gather crime scene evidence.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.