Man arrested months after woman found beheaded in her apartment – with his tax and medical records

CHICAGO, IL – In perhaps one of the most bizarre cases of “it wasn’t me“, a man who claimed to have beheaded a woman but didn’t kill her has been arrested under a dismemberment charge and held without bail. 

Back in July of 2020, 61-year-old Kimiko Armstrong was found to have been beheaded inside of her apartment – which apparently said beheading was enacted by way of a handsaw. 

When police first happened upon Armstrong’s body, authorities were led to the apartment after the victim’s neighbors described a “very bad smell” emanating from the second floor of her apartment building, 49-year-old Eric Bryant was inside of the apartment. 

By all accounts, it was not a benign situation. 

Bryant is no stranger when it comes to police interactions, including stints in jail/prison, as he hosts a 12 prior felony convictions related mostly to burglary. 

But when police happened upon Armstrong’s body, which was wrapped in plastic and bedding on a hallway floor, Bryant managed to avoid being arrested. 

When investigating the scene in July, officers noticed that Armstrong’s cadaver was devoid of a head. Her head was later to be found wrapped in plastic in a bedroom lying next to a handsaw. 

Police at the scene also found that many of Bryant’s personal effects, various tax and medical records, were among the severed head and handsaw. 

It wouldn’t be until December 15th that police would finally apprehend Bryant, nearly six months after Armstrong’s body was discovered, for a separate burglary charge. 

Once investigators learned about Bryant’s warrant for the decapitated woman, he allegedly informed investigators that he didn’t kill Armstrong. 

Bryant apparently admitted that he did indeed remove Armstrong’s head. He proclaimed he decapitated her post-mortem, in a state of panic, due to her decomposing and that he intended to dispose of the body. 

An autopsy conducted on the body did show that Armstrong was decapitated after she’d died, but it’s still unclear exactly what her cause of death was – meaning it still hasn’t been determined whether she was actually murdered or whether she died of another cause.

Bryant was booked under a dismemberment charge in relation to the beheading. The judge in the case opted to have Bryant held without bail during a hearing on December 17th. 

Eric Bryant mugshot
Eric Bryant – Cook County Jail

Bryant’s court-appointed attorney argued that the accused should be afforded bail, because Bryant allegedly didn’t do harm to a live person: 

“Your honor, this is a case where no actual live person was harmed. A corpse is not a live person.”

Judge Charles Beach wasn’t convinced of said argument, pointing to the depraved nature one must host in order to saw off a person’s head in even a post-mortem state: 

“The seriousness of this act, the sanctity of the human body … all give me pause to whether you’re a threat to the community, and I believe you are. At this time sir, you will be held without bail.”

Still, the question remains as to what exactly caused the death of Armstrong and whether Bryant played a role in her death or if he simply engaged in a posthumous beheading. 

This is an actively developing investigation. 

Please follow Law Enforcement Today as we gather further insight into this case. 

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In other cases involving beheadings with little answers, a Fort Bragg soldier’s head washed ashore a beach earlier this summer and his family still have no answers on what happened to him. 

Here’s that previous report. 

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CARTERET COUNTY, NC – It’s an investigation that’s both perplexing and commanding of attention – having garnered the Army, FBI and other agencies to look into the death of Fort Bragg soldier

Back in late May of 2020, the severed head of 21-year-old Spc. Enrique Roman-Martinez had washed up on the shores of a beach located at the Shackleford Banks. 

The paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division was reported missing after having went to a camping trip around North Carolina’s Outer Banks during the Memorial Dat weekend. 

Days after having been reported missing, that was when the soldier’s severed head washed up on the shore – but the remainder of his body is still missing. 

A recently released autopsy report revealed that the soldier’s death is currently being investigated as a homicide. But with Roman-Martinez’s body missing, very little can be determined as to what transpired before his death. 

What the autopsy report was able to conclude so far was that there was “evidence of multiple chop injuries of the head,” and that the victim’s jaw was broken in two places. 

The autopsy report noted that while a decapitation can certainly cause death, it’s unclear if that act was the cause of Roman-Martinez’s death: 

“While decapitation is, in and of itself, universally fatal, the remainder of the body in this case was not available for examination, and therefore potential causes of death involving the torso and extremities cannot be excluded.”

So while the report notes that any number of things could have been what killed this soldier, the report says that everything determined so far points to a case “most consistent with death due to homicide.”

Lt.Col. Michael Burns, a Fort Bragg spokesman said that “there’s an entire team devoted to this,” regarding the investigation into Roman-Martinez’s death. 

Griselda Martinez, Roman-Martinez’s older sister, said back in July that the situation bore many red flags when their family was informed first of his disappearance and eventual death: 

“It was Memorial Day weekend. They called and told us that he went camping with seven other soldiers from the base to hang out… like young people do, ya know?”

“And he went missing. He left all his belongings – his phone, his wallet, his shoes, even his glasses. When they said ‘glasses’, our red flags went off because he can’t see without them.”

“This was his last year in the Army, he was going to come home. We had so many plans.”

The Army is currently offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information leading to the apprehension and later conviction of the person or persons responsible for this soldier’s death. 

Anyone with details that can help with the investigation are asked to submit tips by calling Army CID Special Agents at 910-396-8777, the Military Police Desk at 910-396-1179 or submit information via https://www.p3tips.com/. 

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Author: Gregory Hoyt

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