Body parts found in trash during murder investigation

Police found fingers, teeth and patches of tattooed skin were set curbside in garbage bags following a recent murder, search warrants reveal.

Jeremy A. Gartin, of Marshalltown, who is charged with first-degree murder in the death of David Warnell, carried out five bags of trash at his home on Oct. 1 and set it at the curb while officers were doing surveillance, according to a search warrant document.

Several items were later recovered from the garbage bags including the body parts, blood-soaked sections of carpet, rags and a sheet.

Police opened an investigation after a confidential informant tipped off police after receiving a voicemail from Gartin, who said he’d shot someone, according to the documents.

Gartin was arrested when he left his home, first making a stop at an auto dealership and then a convenience store. He was initially charged with carrying a weapon.

On the same day, police discovered Warnell’s body at Gartin’s home, 502 N. Fourth Ave.

Search warrants in the murder case were unsealed by order of Judge James Ellefson on Friday and made public on Tuesday.

Max E. Nelson Jr., who is also charged in the case, said he witnessed Gartin shooting Warnell, according to the documents. Nelson also said the shooting was related to a drug deal. Police previously said Warnell was shot in the head.

Gartin and Nelson are both charged with abuse of a corpse and first-degree theft for allegedly taking possession of Warnell’s vehicle following the murder. Nelson is also charged with accessory after the fact.

Both men have pleaded not guilty. Jury trials are scheduled for Gartin and Nelson on Dec. 9 and Dec. 10, respectively.