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Man charged with killing roommate, 63, dumping his body in suitcase

Julian Summers, 30, has been charged with second degree murder, tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse in the death of Bruce Jefferies.

A Tennessee man has been arrested for killing his 63-year-old roommate, stuffing his body in a suitcase and abandoning it next to a dumpster, according to police.

Memphis Police made the grisly discovery on Dec. 12 at 9:50 p.m. following a suspicious call, locating the suitcase in an alley behind a bank, officials said in a news release.

The victim in the case died from blunt force trauma to the head, according to an affidavit viewed by NBC News.

The body was identified on Dec. 20 as belonging to Bruce Jefferies, 63. 

Police were eventually led back to Jefferies' apartment thanks to a blood trail left on the ground by the dripping suitcase, that led to the arrest of his roommate Julian Durrell Summers, 30.

On December 12, Memphis police officers were flagged down on a suspicious item call in the 1400 block of Union Avenue shortly before 10 p.m.
On December 12, Memphis police officers were flagged down on a suspicious item call in the 1400 block of Union Avenue shortly before 10 p.m.WMC

A witness also told police he saw a man dragging the same suitcase through the alley the morning of Dec. 12. and try unsuccessfully to throw the case in the dumpster because it was apparently too heavy, according to the affidavit. When the man realized he was being watched he dropped the suitcase and ran off.

Police said the witness' account was supported by video evidence, according to the affidavit.

Following the blood trail led police to the Broad Moore Apartment complex on South Cleveland Street to one of its units, the affidavit said.

Police obtained a search warrant and investigators initially didn’t locate any signs of forced entry and found the keys were still in the door’s lock. But inside, they discovered signs of a struggle, including broken glass, a broken mirror and “blood in various places in the bedroom,” as well as signs of someone attempting to clean up the blood. 

Investigators found a smaller suitcase, similar to the one the body was found in, with papers belonging to Summers, according to the affidavit.

The affidavit said Summers had been the victim’s roommate for the past two years. 

Summers was also “known to be involved in a domestic relationship with Jefferies,” according to the victim’s brother, the affidavit stated.

Summers was also caught on the apartment complex’s video footage attempting to throw the suitcase carrying the body at the building's dumpster, but it was too heavy, the affidavit said.

Summers was arrested and booked into jail on Tuesday, charged with second degree murder, tampering with/fabricating evidence and abuse of a corpse.

Lawyer information for Summers was not immediately available.