Patchogue man indicted for dismembering corpse of missing woman, DA


A Patchogue man was indicted Monday for dismembering the corpse of a 56-year-old Patchogue woman and discarding her remains in three different Patchogue location, Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney said.

Gary Cowell, 72, pleaded not guilty to felony charges of unlawful concealment of a human corpse and tampering with physical evidence.

While the deceased woman has not been officially identified by the district attorney, numerous media outlets have reported that the remains are that of Yvette Leonard, 56, who was reported missing to police on June 18. And Tierney himself has said that remains found are a 56-year-old woman who was reported missing on June 18.

Furthermore, Leonard’s son Malyk has confirmed he believes the remains are that of his mother. Malyk Leonard led an Island-wide, two-week search for his mother.

“This defendant has been indicted on charges related to the alleged dismemberment of a deceased individual,” Tierney said. “I commend the Suffolk County Police detectives for swiftly locating the victim’s remains.”

The cause of death to the woman remains under investigation, Tierney said.

“We want to assure the victim’s family and the public that we are committed to pursuing justice through the proper legal process,” he said.

Tierney explained that detectives interviewed Cowell following the missing woman’s disappearance because he was allegedly the last person to see the woman alive. Following this interview, Cowell took detectives to the locations of the dismembered remains on June 27.

Detectives also allegedly recovered an axe used to dismember the victim, as well as other evidence from Cowell’s Patchogue residence, the district attorney said.

Cowell is being held on $1 million cash bail, $2 million bond or $10 million partially secured bond. He is due back in court on July 25.

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