A fire at a home in Johnston turns into a murder investigation. Firefighters discovered dismembered human remains in the fireplace in the basement.
The victim's boyfriend confessed to murdering his girlfriend, while their children were inside the home. Firefighters first came to the home on Pershing Road Sunday night to respond to reports of smoke billowing from the windows. Crews located the origin of the fire in fireplace in the basement and it was put out. That's when police discovered the human remains.
Deputy Chief David DeCesare of the Johnston Police Department says in his 23 years in law enforcement, this is the most gruesome murder he's ever seen.
"It's gruesome, he kind of just dismembered her body a little bit at a time and placed it into the fireplace to get rid of the remains," said DeCesare.
DeCesare says when fire crews arrived on scene they found 52-year-old Donald Greenslit screaming profanities in the driveway saying he was just burning some wood.
It's not the first time police have dealt with Greenslit. He's had three domestic violence charges in the last three years with his 39-year old girlfriend, and mother of his two children. But this time, his girlfriend didn't make it out alive.
DeCesare says, "We've had double murders in this town in the past, but not to this extent."
After crews found the human remains in the fireplace, Greenslit confessed to the brutal murder.
"I don't know what goes through a persons mind when they commit such a gruesome act on another human being," said DeCesare.
Greenslit told police he stabbed his girlfriend in self defense during a physical argument earlier in the day on Sunday. He told police he used power tools to dismember the body, wrapped it in some cloth, and burned it in the fireplace. The couples children were upstairs during it all.
"The children were home at the time, it appears they didn't witness the assualt or the murder," said DeCesare.
After hearing what happened around the corner, neighbors are in shock.
John and Catherine Ricci have lived in the neighborhood for over 50 years and have never seen anything like this.
"How could you possibly, I mean it's unbelievable it really is," said John Ricci.
He said, "They oughta cut him up and put him in the fireplace with her."
Greenslit was on probation and was under a no contact order with his girlfriend. He will be charged with domestic homicide as well as violating the no contact order. The children are recovering at Hasbro Childrens Hospital from smoke inhalation. They will be staying with family in the area.
The victims name has not been released, because all family members have not yet been notified.