Murder victim’s sister speaks out as anniversary approaches

Ray Roberson (Photo provided by family)


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — One month from today will mark the anniversary of the day human remains were discovered in New Haven, cut into several pieces, and found at different locations.

The arms and legs of 54-year-old Ray Roberson were found near the State Street train station on July 15, 2015. His torso was found in abandoned building on George Street two weeks later.

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As the anniversary approaches, Roberson’s sister is speaking out, hoping to find closure in her brother’s murder. Back in September, Sherell Nesmith took her brother’s ashes to Long Wharf. She released them over the water.

“Let his spirit run free, be free. The pieces I did have of him I was freeing them because I knew him personally and I knew, I know, what he would have wanted,” said Nesmith.

Roberson’s head and hands have never been found. Nesmith says she and her four other siblings have been haunted by his death.

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“The alleged perpetrator, whoever did it, what they put him through. You know, my mind plays a scene like, okay, was he already dead? Did they do this while he was alive?” said Nesmith.

At the time of his death, Roberson was homeless. He was the oldest of six children and his sister says they had a happy childhood. As an adult, Ray became an alcoholic and that led him to choose a life on the streets.

“Although he was deemed as homeless he worked. He always worked. He never not worked,” said Nesmith.

As a child, Ray played baseball. Nesmith says her brother was an artist by trade and earned a living by painting houses.

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“In life we don’t know what path we’re gonna take, but you never imagine a tragedy as such, you know, monstrosity. Something that you still can’t move past, it’s just a hard pill to swallow,” said Nesmith.

Nesmith says she still has hope that someday she will return to Long Wharf to once again set her brother free.

“It has taken a toll on each one of us. And, I can hardly speak without sounding the way I’m sounding, wanting to break down because it’s, it’s hard. It’s absolutely hard,” said Nesmith.

No one has been charged in Roberson’s death. The New Haven Police say it is an ongoing investigation.

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