The sister of the millionaire tech entrepreneur who was found butchered and dismembered in his New York City apartment last month, has penned an emotional tribute to her brother, while revealing how his body was able to be ‘put back together’ for his funeral.
Fahim Saleh, 33, was found dead in his $2.2million Manhattan home on July 13 after he had been decapitated and mutilated with an electric saw.
His personal assistant, Tyrese Devon Haspil, 21, was charged with his murder last month after it was revealed he had allegedly embezzled $100,000 from him.
On the one-month anniversary of his gruesome death, Ruby Angela Saleh, 41, published a poignant Medium essay honoring her younger brother, who she remembered as a ‘curious’ and generous person with a ‘love of technology.’
‘[E]xactly one month ago, my brother returned from a three-mile run and was murdered in his apartment. Sometimes it still doesn’t feel real that Fahim is gone,’ she wrote.
‘And sometimes it feels too precisely like the cruel, heinous, and unbearable reality that it is, letting me see nothing but darkness and feel nothing but piercing pain in every quadrant of my heart.’
The emotional essay, illustrated with heartwarming childhood and family photos of Fahim, also described the chilling moment Ruby learned his mutilated body parts had been discovered around his apartment.
After receiving a call from her aunt telling her Fahim was dead, Ruby said she hung up the phone in disbelief and immediately called her sister, who was already with detectives.
Her sister explained that their cousin had gone to Fahim’s apartment to check in on him after they hadn’t heard from him for a while.
‘”She found his torso in his living room,” my sister said. “I have to go. I’m with the detective”,’ Ruby wrote.
‘I dropped the phone and crawled onto the wooden floor, touching its cold, hard surface with the palms of my hands. I shook my head. ‘No, no,’ I said, my hair falling over my face. ‘What are they saying?’
‘I looked up at my husband. He was already crying, as if he had accepted these words about my brother as truth. His crying didn’t make sense to me because this news couldn’t possibly be real,’ she added.
Ruby revealed she had been tasked with formally identifying her brother’s body, which she had to view through photos due to Covid-19 restrictions.
‘I immediately felt nauseated,’ she wrote. ‘My sister, cousin, and I held hands and said a prayer before opening the attachment. And there it was: a photo of my beautiful brother, lifeless.’
Fahim’s funeral was scheduled to take place on July 19, but days before the service Ruby revealed she had received a phone call informing her ‘that it would not be possible’ to sew her brother’s limbs and head back onto his torso before the burial.
Heartbroken by the news, she said she then pleaded with the man at the funeral home to make sure all of ‘my sweet brother’s body parts were in their proper places in the casket.’
The day before the ceremony, the man called her again and said: ‘It wasn’t easy, but we were able to put him back together.’
Fahim was born to a middle-class Bengali family in Saudi Arabia in 1986 before he, his two sisters Rif Saleh and Ruby Bashir, and parents eventually settled in Rochester, New York.
As a child, he was ‘precocious, curious, active, and happy’, and his love of technology began early, Ruby said.
By the time he had reached high school, he had saved enough money to put himself through college at Bentley University in Massachusetts, accomplishing his goal ‘of easing our father’s burden’, she wrote.
She recalled watching over her little sibling when he was just three years old, saying at times she felt more like a mother to him than his older sister.
‘Thirty years later, I was learning that Fahim’s head and limbs had been discarded in a trash bag,’ she said.
‘Someone had cut my brother’s body into pieces and tossed the pieces into a garbage bag, as if his life, his body, his existence had had no meaning or value.’
One month on, Ruby remembers Fahim as the ‘most special gift given to us, and then taken away.’
‘Now, our father spends his days sitting next to Fahim’s dog, Laila, speaking to her in the same affectionate tone he reserved for my brother, watching videos of or reading about the accomplishments of his deceased son.
‘My mother spends her days crying. At night, she cannot sleep,’ she added.
Last month, autopsy results revealed Fahim had been tasered and then stabbed multiple times before being dismembered.
Surveillance footage from inside the 265 East Houston apartment building where he lived showed he was followed into the elevator by a man – believed to be Haspil – who was wearing a black suit and mask.
Investigators said Fahim, who was dressed in shorts and a t-shirt, appeared suspicious when the masked-man fumbled with the elevator, which requires the use of a key fob to operate.
The footage shows the victim collapsing to the ground as the elevator doors opened directly into his full-floor apartment. The elevator doors then closed and obscured the camera’s view of what happened next.
NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison said Haspil, who handled Saleh’s finances and personal affairs as his personal assistant, owed the victim a ‘significant amount’ of money before his murder.
Police sources told the NY Daily News that Saleh discovered his assistant had allegedly stolen $100,000 from him and that he set up a payment plan for Haspil to repay the money instead of reporting him to authorities.
Detectives started investigating Haspil after finding text messages in which Saleh accused Haspil of stealing the money, according to police sources.
Police have not confirmed when the alleged theft occurred and how much money Haspil owed the victim.