Divers who found a leg attached to a cinder block in Northern California's Whiskeytown Lake, along with other body parts, believe the remains may belong to a California woman who was reported missing March 20.
Authorities believe Bridget Jacobs, 38, may have been murdered by her ex-husband, 56-year-old Philip Daniel Jacobs. Philip was arrested for suspicion of murder and booked into Shasta County Jail, the Redding Record Searchlight reports.
Police believe Bridget may have been dismembered. Shasta County Sheriff's Sgt. Brian Jackson said the leg does not appear to have separated from the rest of the body during natural decomposition.
"Talking to personnel on scene from yesterday ... it appears to be dismemberment," Jackson said. "We don't know what type of tools or instruments were used at this time. That would be something for the coroner’s office to determine later next week."
Teams of divers searched Whiskeytown Lake using sonar equipment. After the leg was found, investigators used its location to help find the other body parts.
Philip, who is being held on $1 million bail, said Bridget's death was accidental. He said Bridget had "charged" at him, and that he had ducked, falling down a set of stairs and possibly breaking her neck.
Philip reportedly did not call 911 or attempt to provide medical assistance despite holding a nurse practitioner license. He said he kept his ex-wife's body for four days before dumping her remains.
Bridget's dog, Abijah, is also missing, although Philip has declined to tell investigators if he knows where the dog is.
The couple's marriage lasted eight months and ended in December and both of them reportedly had temporary restraining orders against the other, CBS News reports.
In a similar case in 2016, police said a woman's body was found tied to a cinder block in a pond near Philadelphia, Fox News reports.
"Sadly, someone threw this woman away like a piece of trash," said Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan. "Our first job is to identify the victim. Then we will find out how she died and who was involved."
The woman was believed to be 25 to 35 years old. The district attorney's office concluded that children had been swimming in the pond the afternoon before the body was discovered, so it must have been placed in the water sometime after that.
The woman's body showed no signs of trauma or gunshot wounds, and she did not appear to have been strangled. There was also reportedly no water in her lungs, leading investigators to conclude that she had been "dead when she was placed in the water," according to the prosecutor's office.