SOUTH PLAINFIELD, N.J. — An exotic dancer who kept a collection of human body parts in her home skipped a court appearance Wednesday and was being sought by police in what was only the latest bizarre twist involving occupants of the house.
Linda Kay, 31, faces charges of illegally possessing human remains and failing to show up for court.
Her roommate, Sean McDonough, faces charges that he held guns and knives to the head and stomach of a former roommate, threatening to gut her.
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Andrea Leipow, who said she lived with pair about two months, termed Kay and McDonough “lunatics.”
“It’s kind of a cult-like environment,” the 25-year-old Leipow said. “I do not know what word to use to describe it.”
On April 28, McDonough held her down on the floor for more than five hours, pointing a knife to neck and an unloaded shotgun at her head, eventually pulling the trigger, according to court documents.
At one point, he threatened to sever her jugular vein and held a 6-inch switchblade to her neck and to her stomach, musing that perhaps “he should cut her open,” according to court documents.
He is awaiting trial in state Superior Court on those charges, which include making terroristic threats and weapons offenses. There was no answer at the house he shares with Kay on Wednesday.
Kay was charged last week after someone called police and reported that McDonough was suicidal and threatening to kill himself with a hammer. When police arrived, he was not there, but Kay was home. Officers who looked around the house found six human skulls and a severed human hand preserved in a jar of formaldehyde in her bedroom.
Friends said she called the hand “Freddy.”
Police were looking for the Goth woman who dances at the Hott 22 nude bar in Union under the stage name “Zilla.”
“I told the judge I was trying to locate her,” attorney Donald DeGioia said Wednesday. “She looks forward to her day in court.”
He said he did not know why Kay had skipped Wednesday’s court date. As a result, municipal court judge John Leonard revoked Kay’s $100,000 bail, issued an arrest warrant for failure to appear, and set a new $100,000 bail on the new charge.
“We’ll actively look for her,” said Police Chief John Ferraro. “She’ll be placed under arrest and brought to police headquarters.”
Leipow, Kay’s former roommate, said the hand was a gift from a medical student who liked her dancing. Kay’s mother told The Star-Ledger of Newark she believed the skulls were bought from a mail order catalog.
“We’re currently trying to determine who the skulls and hand belong to,” Ferraro said. The body parts were taken to the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office for examination and forensic testing.
Ferraro said police had been called to the house with the overgrown front yard weeds and a gargoyle-garded door several times before on noise violations and other complaints.
Associated Press writer Chris Newmarker contributed to this report.