Fahim Saleh, 33, was a venture capitalist and CEO of Gokada, a transportation company headquartered in Nigeria. When family members were unable to reach him on Tuesday afternoon, his sister dropped by his luxury condominium building on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. When she discovered his body, which had been decapitated, she called police.
According to surveillance video from Monday, Saleh was seen around 1:40 p.m. being followed into his apartment elevator by a man wearing a suit, gloves, hat and mask and carrying a briefcase. When the elevator arrives at the seventh floor, which opened right into Saleh’s apartment, he falls immediately, the apparent result of an attack.
Saleh’s torso was detached from his head and limbs, which were found nearby in several large bags, sources said. An electric saw was also recovered, still plugged into an electrical outlet, according to law enforcement sources. His dog was found alive in the apartment.
Saleh co-founded Pathao, a ride-share app that’s popular in Bangladesh. His most recent venture was the Gokada transportation company, which has faced financial setbacks and recently laid off most of its staff.
Gokada confirmed Saleh’s death on Twitter Tuesday and said, “We are deeply saddened to inform you about the sudden and tragic loss of our founder and CEO, Fahim Saleh,” the company wrote. “Fahim was a great leader, inspiration and positive light for all of us.”
“Our hearts go out to his friends, family and all those feeling the pain and heartbreak we are currently experiencing, here at Gokada,” the company continued. “All updates and changes will be communicated with you, as it unfolds. Forever in our hearts.”
New York police haven’t yet determined a motive behind the attack. Detectives are investigating Saleh’s finances for a possible motive, especially his dealings with Gokada.
In a second statement on its official Instagram Wednesday afternoon, Gokada said it was “shocked and saddened” by the “tragic circumstances” surrounding Saleh’s death.
“Fahim’s passion for Nigeria and its youth was immeasurable. He believed young Nigerians are extremely bright and talented individuals who would flourish if just given the right opportunity. Fahim also believed that technology can transform lives and improve safety and efficiency. He built Gokada to act upon these beliefs,” the statement said.
It continued: “RIP, Fahim. You will be missed by everyone at Gokada and by the entire Nigerian startup community.”