Man charged with dumping 26-year-old woman’s body near the trash outside his Staten Island home
A Staten Island man has been charged with dumping a 26-year-old woman’s body near the trash outside his home, police said Monday.
Glen Brancato, 56, was arrested Saturday on charges of concealment of a human corpse and criminal tampering.
Police suspect victim Lahuma Payton died of a drug overdose after a night of partying though the cause of death has not yet been determined.
Her body, partially clothed from the waist up, was found wrapped in blankets next to a blue storage bin and a red truck in the driveway outside the Port Richmond house where Brancato rents an apartment about 5:45 a.m. Friday, police said.
A surveillance camera caught Brancato exiting his apartment on Heberton Ave. near Port Richmond Ave. with another man, believed to be a friend, police said. The friend, who is still being sought, was seen on video dragging Payton, then leaving her in the driveway when he spotted someone walking down the street, the owner of the building told the Daily News.
“My cameras picked up everything,” Brancato’s landlord, who would only identify himself as Joe, told the Daily News Friday. “He put her in the blue (bin) then covered her with blankets and dragged her outside and left her laying over there.
“I saw something pop out from the blankets,” he said. “I believe it was her hand.”
The friend ran back to the apartment and left a few minutes later, the landlord said. “He just shuffled off,” Joe said.
The victim lived just over a mile away in Arlington.
Brancato, released without bail following his Sunday arraignment in Staten Island Criminal Court, has 33 prior arrests, mostly for drugs, including a misdemeanor possession charge on May 12, police said.
The landlord said he put surveillance cameras both inside and outside the home after he received several complaints from neighbors about people going into Brancato’s apartment at all hours of the night.
“I’ve owned this building since 1999,” Joe said. “I’ve had tenants pass away in there but it’s never been a crime scene.”
When his tenant returns, he’s going to find himself homeless, Joe said.
“He’s done,” he said. “I just changed the locks.”