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Brooklyn cold case unit investigation leads to arrest in 2005 case

Teen's dismembered body was found at a subway station

Brooklyn, New York CNN  — 

A man has been arrested in the 2005 death of a 19-year-old whose headless dismembered body was found in a Brooklyn subway tunnel.

Kwauhuru Govan, 38, was arrested Wednesday on a warrant charging him with second-degree murder in the death of Rashawn Brazell, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office said.

Brazell was last seen on Valentine’s Day 2005. Three days later, parts of his body were found in a subway station. NYPD officials said, “Partial human remains were found inside of the Nostrand Avenue/Fulton Street Subway station by a NYC Transit worker.”

Brazell’s head was not recovered.

Acting District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said, “Today, I am pleased to say that we have solved this cold case, hopefully allowing a small measure of closure for Mr. Brazell’s loved ones. Our newly created cold case unit will now work to get justice for homicide victims whose cases remain unsolved.”

Govan last year was charged in the 2004 death of 17-year-old Sharabia Thomas, who, according to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, “left her Gates Avenue home on February 11, 2004, and was found dead inside two laundry bags later that day. That case was solved based on previously untested DNA evidence that was recovered from under Sharabia’s fingernails and matched the defendant, whose DNA profile was entered into a national database after a 2014 arrest in Florida.”

Govan was carried into Brooklyn Criminal Court on Wednesday afternoon by several officers after he refused to be fingerprinted. A judge requested Govan go back to jail and return to court on Thursday.

A spokesperson for the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office said because Govan was combative in court and refused to comply with officers’ request to be fingerprinted, he was not formally arraigned.

Attorney Frederick Spiegel, who is representing Govan, did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.