The mother of a woman whose dismembered body was found off a Brooklyn park earlier this week criticized the NYPD, saying that if her daughter were white an arrest would have already been made.
Speaking at a vigil for her daughter in Canarsie Park on Thursday, Nicole Odom said she was frustrated the NYPD hasn't given her more details after the discovery of Brandy Odom's limbless body on Monday. The mother contacted police after hearing about the body in the park, telling investigators about a distinctive tattoo -- the word "chocolate" -- on her left breast.
"They don't care," she said. "They move slower when it comes to African Americans. But if she was a Caucasian child somebody would be locked up already."
The NYPD on Thursday disputed Nicole Odom's charge, telling News 4 detectives were aggressively investigating the case as they would any other New Yorker. A $12,000 reward has also been posted for information leading to her killers arrest and conviction.
Still, the mother made pleas directly to the killer -- who she called "an animal" -- as she visited the park where her daughter's body was dumped for the first time.
"If you have any sympathy in your heart for my daughter, my family, her friends, her uncles, please just come forward and give yourself up," she said.
Nicole Odom had contacted police after learning about the body in the park. After identifying the tattoo, detectives gave the mother a photo, which she positively identified as Brandy Odom.
Police said the 26-year-old had never been reported missing before her body was discovered: she was "very independent" and sometimes left for days at a time, they said. It's not clear if she had a romantic partner, or how long it had been since her family heard from her this last stretch.
Police are urging the public with any information on Odom to contact them.
Officials have been on the park grounds since Monday investigating the discovery of the woman's torso. Investigators later found a leg, then several bags containing body parts. Police would not say what kind of body parts were inside the bags, but cops believe they are all part of the same person.
It's not clear at this point how Odom may have died or who is responsible for her death.
A woman walking her dog first made the grisly discovery of the torso, about 15 feet off the edge of the pedestrian path. The torso had been found face down, covered in leaves but not buried, law enforcement sources say.
It's not known how Odom's body ended up there or how long she had been there. A medical examiner will determine Odom's cause of death.
Anyone with information about the woman's death should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.