Update: Our post last week about the discovery of a body in a Xenia Street alley (see our previous coverage below) noted the arrest of two men, Yer Zit and Zar Yar, both thought to be natives of Myanmar. Now, the pair have been charged, but not for murder. Instead, they're facing accessory beefs plus a charge of abusing a corpse -- which was found naked. Meanwhile, the investigation is continuing into the death of the man, who still isn't being publicly identified. Continue for photos and details from a police report we've also included in this post.
Just after 11 p.m. on December 4, according to Yer Zit's probable cause statement, Denver police officers were dispatched to the rear of 1371 Xenia Street, an apartment building, on a report of a body being dragged in the alley. They soon found what's described as an "unknown naked male" who was pronounced dead a short time later.
An autopsy revealed sharp force injuries and lacerations, as well as "a pattern mark across the victim's abdomen...consistent with a belt."
Meanwhile, officers were casing the neighborhood, and they found the front door open to apartment 103 in the 1371 Xenia complex. After entering, they are said to have spotted "suspected blood" in multiple locations, including the bathroom door, the bedroom door and a common wall for the living room and kitchen.
A witness subsequently said he'd been moving his car when he saw two people dragging a naked body -- and another person quizzed by the cops reported hearing an argument going on outside apartment 103, followed by the sound of "things being broken" inside it. The second witness believed the three people involved were Zar Yar, Yer Zit and a third person, identified as (yes, this is really the name in the report) Ali Baba. Two of the three are said to have been brothers.
A later interviewee told tales of being assaulted by the brothers and having Yer Zit pull a knife on him.
Later that morning, police obtained a search warrant for apartment 103 and discovered a belt that matched the marks on the victim's abdomen. Also located: a broken chair in a dumpster that had blood on it.
Then, later that morning, police, following a tip, eyeballed Yar Zar and Yer Zit in Lowery Park at East 11th Avenue and Akron Street; they'd been drinking. The report says blood was found on Zar Yar's pants and Yer Zit's shoes, but both denied having any involvement in the man's death.
The Denver District Attorney's Office is clearly dubious about those claims, but neither is there apparently enough evidence to pin them directly to the killing. Instead, the suspects have been accused of being an accessory to first-degree murder, plus tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse.
Here's a look at the booking photos of Zar Yar and Yer Zit, followed by the latter's probable cause statement and arrest warrant and our previous coverage.
Continue for our previous coverage of the Xenia Street alley homicide. Original post, 5:33 a.m. December 8: Thus far, authorities have been stingy with information about a homicide that took place late this past Thursday night. The victim has yet to be identified, and while two men -- Zar Yar and Yer Zit -- have reportedly been arrested in connection with the crime, no photos or additional details have been shared. Here's what we know thus far.
The first official word of the incident came via this Denver Police Department tweet, sent late on Thursday, December 4:
#BREAKING: DPD on scene in the 1300 Blk Xenia alley investigating death of a male. Ongoing investigation. No further info at this time.
— Denver Police Dept. (@DenverPolice) December 5, 2014
Here's an interactive graphic showing the area near the scene. If you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map."
View Larger Map
The next day, the DPD specified the location as the alley in the 1300 block of Xenia and Xanthia streets and noted that officers were called to the scene at 11 p.m. on the 4th. There, they found what was generically described as a "deceased male party," with a release adding that the cause of death was under investigation.
This point was underlined by the Denver coroner's office, which narrowed down the address to the 1371 Xenia Street alleyway and pointed out that the victim was "an Asian male." But while an autopsy had been performed, "cause and manner of death is pending further investigation at this time," the statement stressed.
This verbiage suggested that law enforcers weren't sure if a crime had been committed. But yesterday, CBS4 divulged that Zar Yar and Yer Zit had been taken into custody in relation to the death, which it defined as a homicide.
Nothing more about the suspects has surfaced beyond the station's revelation that an advisement in the case had been put off until today to allow the court to find a "Burmese interpreter."
Regarding Zar Yar and Yer Zit, neither has left much of a footprint online -- but we were able to find references to local arrests involving both. Mugshots.com lists a July 23, 2013 warrant bust for Zar Yar, with a subsequent court appearance in Denver and a fugitive hold out of Arapahoe County; no bond was allowed, the site maintains. Meanwhile, a cached blurb on CriminalFaces.com shows a September 8, 2013 arrest in Denver for Yer Zit. The offense isn't included in the item.
At this writing, the victim hasn't been identified pending next-of-kin notification.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
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