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New Orleans Man Arrested For Allegedly Dismembering Mother Of Two After She Moved In With Him

Benjamin Beale's mugshot

[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]

A Louisiana man was charged with the murder of a missing 36-year-old mother, whose remains were found in a freezer last week.

According to reports, Benjamin Beale (above) is being held in New Orleans on $1.4 million bond after allegedly dismembering Julia Dardar. Two weeks after she was reported missing by her estranged husband on December 23, 2021, police found the woman’s body stuffed in a freezer that was inside a school bus on Beale’s property in New Orleans.

Micah Dardar, her estranged husband, said to WGNO that the mother of his daughters was “suffering from addiction and mental health issues and need[ed] help.”

While it was known to family and friends that she was staying with Beale — who has two teenage daughters and is better known within the New Orleans abstract art community as Kelley Kirkpatrick, according to the outlet — police allegedly told Micah that the artist claimed to have not seen Julia since December 12.

Related: Former Cop Arrested For Allegedly Murdering His Mother

The mother’s body was found after New Orleans Police executed a search warrant at Beale’s Ninth Ward neighborhood home. Officials say she was beaten and strangled to death before being dismembered with a power saw.

Beale is charged with second-degree murder, obstruction of justice in a death investigation, illegally carrying a weapon while in possession of a controlled dangerous substance, creating or operating a clandestine drug lab, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, and distribution of methamphetamine. If convicted, he could be sentenced to life in prison.

The suspect has not entered pleas to these charges. WGNO reported that he and Julia were members of the “Burner” community, made up of people who make the yearly journey to Nevada for the Burning Man Festival. Julia’s ex organized a GoFundMe campaign to help cover her funeral costs. He wrote on the page:

“Julia leaves behind two teenage daughters, 13 and 17, that will never get to see their mom again and will have to live with the scar and void in their lives because of this horrendous act of senseless evil and violence… Julia made a positive impact in the lives of so many, and she was always willing to go out of her way to help others.”

Micah explained that he and Julia met in 2002 and moved to New Orleans by the time their second daughter was born in 2008. They moved around a bit after that, before returning to Louisiana in 2019. He wrote:

“We were very briefly happy to be home before stress from the pandemic took a toll on us, as it did with so many. Unfortunately, the stress led her down a dangerous path that ended tragically.”

So devastating. Our hearts go out to the victim’s family at this difficult time.

[Image via New Orleans Police Dept.]

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Jan 18, 2022 14:30pm PDT