An American of Nigerian descent is behind bars in Texas, USA for allegedly killing a Nigerian woman and hiding her body in a recycling bin, only for it to be discovered by his own mother.
Alex Akpan, 24, has been charged with murder in the death of 23-year-old Irene Yemitan.
Yemitan’s body was found on September 5 when Akpan’s mother went into his bedroom at the home they both share and saw a green recycling bin. When she lifted the lid, she discovered a human foot.
Akpan’s mother then tipped over the bin and found Yemitan’s body inside. She called her ex-husband and they alerted authorities and attempted CPR.
Yemitan, an aspiring beauty stylist and student at Houston Community College, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Authorities said there were no obvious signs of trauma on her body, but noted her eyes seemed to signify that she had been strangled.
The county medical examiner has since determined that strangulation was the cause of death.
A witness told police that Yemitan had only met Akpan a few days before her death.
The witness and Yemitan had been at West Oaks Mall when they befriended Akpan, a fellow HCC student who was studying computer science.
Yemitan and Akpan began exchanging phone calls and text messages and she had gone over to his house with the witness on several occasions.
The witness said she had been at Akpan’s house with Yemitan the day before her body was discovered.
She told police that Akpan became upset that day because Yemitan parked her car on the street, scaring them as he threw a chair and screamed and cursed at them.
Akpan refused to give a statement to investigators and requested a lawyer.
He was initially charged with tampering with evidence of a human corpse and was released from custody after posting $10,000 bond. He was arrested again on Wednesday.
Akpan appeared in court on Thursday wearing a black T-shirt with the words #Lightthefuture written on the front.
On the back were the words ‘Psalm 82.3’, a Bible verse that reads: “Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.”
Akpan is currently being held on $250,000 bond at Harris County Jail.
Prosecutors had requested he be held on $500,000 bond, claiming he was a flight risk and that authorities had learned his family planned to send him to Nigeria where he has family.
A day before her body was found, Yemitan had told friends and family she was busy taking classes at Houston Community College.
“Where have I been? What have I been doing,” she said in a YouTube video published on September 4. “So basically, I’ve been at school — living my best life.”
In the same video titled “Life Update,” she identified herself as Nigerian and bemoaned the heat.
“I am Nigerian and I live in a house where they do not believe in AC,” Yemitan said, fanning herself.