Murder indictment against man in dismembered body case

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A man has been indicted on a second-degree murder charge in the death of a woman whose dismembered body was found in a freezer stored aboard an old bus parked beside a New Orleans home, District Attorney Jason Williams said Friday.

Benjamin Beale, 34, was charged Thursday by a grand jury in the death of Julia Dardar.

Beale faces several additional charges, including obstruction of a homicide investigation and drug charges.

Dardar’s body was discovered by police in the freezer on the graffiti-covered bus in January. She had been reported missing in December. Authorities said she had been beaten and strangled.

New Orleans news outlets reported earlier this year that Dardar had been reported missing by her ex-husband.

William Sothern, an attorney for Beale, said his client would enter a plea of not guilty at an arraignment expected next week and that the defense would continue to investigate issues involving Beale’s mental health.

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