A Pennsylvania man and woman had a domestic dispute that ended tragically for her. Police saw Nicholas Scurria, 32, dismember his ex-girlfriend’s body inside the apartment they shared. Local law enforcement was alerted to the tragedy when neighbors heard sounds of domestic violence and called 911.
According to a police affidavit obtained by PEOPLE Magazine, police arrived at the defendant’s apartment after neighbors called 911 a little before 4:45 a.m. One caller “woke up to loud screaming in the neighboring apartment and also heard banging. It became quiet and [they] heard sawing-like sounds and the gathering or shifting of plastic materials.”
Officers from the Clifton Heights Police Department responded to the call and arrived at the apartment building, where they “walked around the apartment to the north side and observed from outside the bedroom window a white male…seated on a mattress…cutting/sawing a female victim’s left leg with a machete.”
The affidavit states that the victim’s head had already been removed from her body, which was on the floor. Police used force to enter the apartment and took Scurria into custody. He was then led to a waiting police car and “made unsolicited statements” to the officers. He repeatedly said, “She tried to cut my balls off.”
Scurria allegedly told the police that he was formerly in a romantic relationship with the victim. The relationship had since ended, but they lived together.
“The defendant stated that during the argument, he knocked the victim unconscious after repeatedly striking her in the head,” according to the affidavit. “The defendant admitted he attempted to get rid of the evidence by dismembering various parts of the victim’s body.”
Delaware Country District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer released an official statement in regards to Scurria’s arrest. He called the murder “horrific” and “a sad reminder of the threat that many women face on a daily basis.”
Stollsteimer’s statement continued with: “Preliminary indications are that the victim and the defendant formerly had a romantic relationship and were – at the time of the murder – sharing a residence. Based on the defendant’s statements at the time of his arrest, in response to what the defendant perceived as a threat to his masculinity, he brutally killed – and then dismembered – his victim. His actions were cowardly as well as evil, and he will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
He then added a call to action for all citizens.
“We must continue to look for ways to support women against the danger of domestic violence,” Stollsteimer added in his statement.
Scurria has been charged with first- and third-degree murder, weapons offenses, and abuse of a corpse. He has not yet pleaded to the charges against him.