Man charged with murder after woman's body found in recycling bin earlier this month

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – Authorities have identified a woman whose body was recovered last week inside a recycling bin at a home in southwest Houston.

The woman was identified as Irene Yemitan. Her cause of death was determined to be strangulation.

Detectives arrested Alex Jude Apkan the day after they recovered the body on Sept. 5 in the home in the 9600 block of Wellsworth Drive.

Apkan, 24, was charged with tampering with evidence and murder, according to authorities.

He bonded out of jail on the tampering charge, but was arrested again Wednesday night around 6 p.m. on the murder charge.

Earlier story

"The whole street was blocked off, we had to come on the other side," Shamale Brown, a neighbor, said. "I haven't seen anyone [at that house] since."

The Apkan family, from Nigeria, lives in the home in question. But they told police they don't know who the victim is.

"What? That doesn't make any sense," another neighbor told us. "How can they not know?"

"There's no story here," he said when KPRC knocked at the door. "No problem here. You got a problem?"

A neighbor said Apkan's mother told him her theory: A woman who had been attacked came in through the back door when nobody was home, made her way into a bedroom and died. 

Authorities had released a description of the woman while they were trying to identify her.

The woman is described as being black and she had "short to medium black hair and single ear piercings with large yellow metal hoop earrings" when she was found. She was wearing a striped shirt and olive green pants labeled as being from Forever 21.

A size small gray Hanes brand hooded-zipper sweatshirt was tied around her waist. She was found without shoes or socks, officials said.

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