Fahim Saleh, the 33 year-old founder and chief executive officer of startup Gokada, was found dead Tuesday afternoon at his Manhattan condominium.
Saleh’s body was found dismembered and decapitated near an electric saw that was still plugged into the wall, the New York Times reported. Officials told the newspaper that his sister discovered the body when she decided to go to Saleh’s building after a day without hearing from him.
Gokada, a motorcycle ride-hailing business that operates in Nigeria, confirmed the death on Twitter.
Saleh’s death was ruled a homicide, police said. One official told the New York Times that there were large plastic bags in the condo and there appeared to be an effort to clean up what happened.
A relative called police after going to check on Saleh and making the gruesome discovery. Responding officers discovered a clothed torso, bags containing a head and arms and the electric saw in the living room, police said.
Investigators also recovered security video showing Saleh exiting an elevator that leads directly into the full-floor, two-bedroom apartment earlier Tuesday afternoon closely followed by someone dressed entirely in black, including a mask, according to a law enforcement official who was briefed on the case. It also shows a struggle between the two ensuing at the entrance to the apartment, said the official, who wasn't authorized to discuss the investigation and spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Police believe that the relative may have interrupted the intruder before that person fled out a back exit.
The medical examiner ruled the death a homicide after an autopsy found the cause of death was multiple stab wounds to the body.
Saleh was the chief executive officer of a ride-hailing motorcycle startup called Gokada that began operating in Nigeria in 2018.
The company confirmed his death on Twitter Wednesday and said, “Fahim was a great leader, inspiration and positive light for all of us."
Investigators were exploring whether the killing could have been related to Saleh's business dealings. They also were checking security camera video from the neighborhood to try to locate the suspect.
Saleh's LinkedIn biography described him as a self-taught businessman who founded Gokada building on his experience of first “seeing an opportunity in his parent’s native country of Bangladesh" and starting that country's largest ride-sharing company. It said he also was invested in a similar venture in Colombia.
Apartments in the 10-story building where Saleh's remains were found sell for more than $2 million. The building was completed in 2017 as part of a wave of gentrification in the neighborhood