Workers Paid $500 To Move Dead Body Parts Claimed To Be Rocks, Halloween Props: Report

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Julianna Frieman Contributor
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California workers were reportedly paid $500 to move dead body parts they thought to be Halloween props before a dismembered human torso was discovered in a plastic bag Wednesday near a dumpster in Encino, per NBC Los Angeles.

A group of day laborers were reportedly hired Tuesday afternoon by Samuel Haskell — who was arrested after being accused of murder — to transport three large trash bags “full of rocks,” according to NBC Los Angeles. The workers moved the bags — which they reportedly said felt as if they were full of meat — 25 miles northwest from the suspect’s garage in Tarzana to downtown Los Angeles, per the outlet.

“When we picked up the bags, we could tell they weren’t rocks,” an unidentified worker said in Spanish, per the outlet.

The “soft” and “soggy” bags reportedly weighed about 50 lbs. each, the workers said, according to the outlet. They reportedly stopped their truck one block away from their destination to look inside the bags after admitting that “something didn’t feel right.”

“I started seeing body parts, a belly button,” the worker said. “I was astonished. Of course, I felt bad. We had been tricked.”

The workers did not finish their trip, per the outlet. They reportedly drove back to Haskell’s house, left the bags on his doorstep and returned the money, per the outlet. Haskell reportedly attempted to pass the body parts off as Halloween props when the men informed him they did not want to be involved, the outlet reported. (RELATED: Landscaper Mowed Around Corpse Thinking It Was A Halloween Decoration: REPORT)

Two law enforcement stations reportedly turned down the workers when they attempted to report what they witnessed, according to the outlet. While fearing for their lives, the men were passed off by the California Highway Patrol station and the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Topanga station, per the outlet. They were reportedly told to dial 911 from the LAPD Topanga courtyard, according to the outlet.

Surveillance footage from the strip mall near Ventura Boulevard and Rubio Avenue pointed to Haskell after a homeless person found the torso of an unidentified victim while searching for recyclables around a California dumpster at 6:15 a.m, per the outlet.

Haskell’s wife, Mei Haskell, and her parents, Gaoshan Li and YanXiang Wang, remain missing, per the outlet.