New York (CNN) (07/16/20)— A 33-year-old tech CEO was found dismembered in a luxury New York condo, a law enforcement source told CNN.
The New York Police Department confirmed a man had been found dead Tuesday in an apartment in Manhattan’s Lower East Side.
The source identified him as tech entrepreneur Fahim Saleh, a venture capitalist and CEO of Gokada, Nigeria’s motorcycle ride-hail company.
Saleh was last seen in surveillance footage Monday evening, getting into the elevator in his apartment building in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the source said.
A man dressed in all black — who, according to police, is suspected to be Saleh’s assailant — is seen in the video entering the elevator with him, according to the official.
The elevator in Saleh’s building goes straight into the apartment units there, the source said. Once inside Saleh’s apartment, the alleged assailant started to attack him, the source said.
When the CEO’s sister went to check in on him, she discovered Saleh’s torso in an area next to the living room, the official said. Other parts of his body were stuffed into individual bags in the apartment, the source said.
Police haven’t yet determined a motive behind the grisly attack, the source said. The NYPD is looking into how the attacker exited the apartment building.
Saleh’s family confirmed his death in a statement. “The headlines talk about a crime we still cannot fathom,” the statement said. “Fahim is more than what you are reading. He is so much more. His brilliant and innovative mind took everyone who was a part of his world on a journey and he made sure never to leave anyone behind.”
“There are no words or actions to provide any of us comfort except the capture of the person who exhibited nothing short of evil upon our loved one.”
Gokada called Saleh’s death “sudden and tragic” on Twitter. “Fahim was a great leader, inspiration and positive light for all of us,” the company wrote. “Our hearts go out to his friends, family, and all those feeling the pain and heartbreak we are currently experiencing here at Gokada. All updates and changes will be communicated with you, as it unfolds. Forever in our hearts.”
CNN has reached out to the medical examiner’s office and NYPD for further comment.
As a high schooler, Saleh founded PrankDial.com, a website for prerecorded prank phone calls that,he wrote in 2018, had generated over $10 million since its start.
He continued to found and sell sites throughout his teens and his time at Bentley University.
Most recently, he founded the venture capital firm Adventure Capital, which invested in ride-sharing start-ups in countries like Bangladesh and Colombia.
On Medium, where he blogged regularly, he called his founding of Gokada “one of the most out there things” he’d ever done. His limited knowledge of Nigeria’s transportation system at first turned off Nigerians he tried to recruit for his start-up.
The company raised over $5 million and hired over 800 drivers, but Gokada’s business hit a snag earlier this year when Lagos banned commercial motorcycles in the city.
Saleh filmed an impassioned plea on behalf of his employees to lift the ban. In the meantime, the company pivoted to delivery and was working toward launching a boat hailing service, he told CNN in February.
“We need and urge the NYPD and other members of law enforcement to work diligently to get to the bottom of this horrific crime and bring justice for Fahim,” his family said.
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