Body found stuffed in suitcase in San Francisco Bay was hanged and drugged: prosecutors

A San Francisco man was arrested and charged last week in connection to the alleged torture and murder of a man whose body was found stuffed into a suitcase and tossed into the San Francisco Bay, officials said on Monday.

Gerald Rowe, 47, who was arrested Friday, faces charges including torture, conspiracy, kidnapping, battery with serious bodily injury, false imprisonment, possession of a firearm by a felon and drug offenses.

The body of George Randall Saldivar, 23, was discovered earlier this month floating near Pier 39, The San Francisco Chronicle reported. A medical examiner determined he was murdered and alerted police, the report said.

An investigation led authorities to Rowe’s home, where they found a recorded video of the alleged killing, Assistant District Attorney Michael Swart said. Authorities said the video showed a second unidentified person participating in Saldivar’s murder but it wasn’t immediately clear whether that person has been arrested.

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The video shows Rowe and his co-conspirator engage in "consensual sexual activity" with Saldivar before they tied a rope around his neck, according to a motion filed Monday by the district attorney’s office. Rowe and the co-conspirator allegedly yanked on the rope, placed a bag over the victim’s head, and injected him what prosecutors believe was fentanyl, the motion stated.

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After Saldivar collapsed, Rowe and the co-conspirator stuffed his body into a suitcase which they sealed in plastic and let sit for an entire day, Swart said. Rowe’s arraignment is scheduled for Thursday, The Chronicle reported. Authorities are working to determine a motive for the grisly killing.