Keith Tolbert, 34, Angel Weston, 21 and Stephanie Foulke, 22, are charged with murder, robbery and other offenses in the death of 40-year-old Francis Zarzycki, whose torso was found in the Schuylkill River Tuesday morning.
All three defendants were arraigned Friday and are now being held without bail
According to Philadelphia Police Captain James Clark, Tolbert, Weston and Foulke were involved in a prostitution business and conspired to rob Zarzycki the night he was killed.
The alleged robbery turned violent, police say, and Zarzycki was killed and dismembered.
Investigators say Zarzycki was last seen the night of Monday August 26th at an apartment in the 200 block of South 11th Street.
Police say that apartment, rented by Tolbert, was a front for prostitution.
Investigators say cell phone and personal computer records confirm that Zarzycki had been there before for prostitution services and was there the night of August 26th for the same purpose.
Investigators say at some point during the encounter, Tolbert emerged from a back room, tried to rob Zarzycki and a struggle ensued in the living room.
Zarzycki was allegedly beaten, tasered and suffocated.
Police say the three then took his body into the bathroom, and Tolbert severed the head, arms and legs using a hatchet.
Zarzycki's torso was discovered at 7:51 a.m. Tuesday in the Schuylkill River along the 3700 block of Grays Ferry Avenue. It was wrapped in plastic.
Police were able to identify the body through a distinctive tattoo on Zarzycki's back.
Zarzycki lived with his parents at their home in Northeast Philadelphia. Friends say he was a standup guy who worked as a loan officer at a bank in Bucks County.
Thursday night, detectives removed a drain pipe believed to contain traces of Zarzycki's blood and DNA.
Police say the hatchet hasn't been found, but surveillance video captured Zarzycki walking into the apartment building. Police used his phone records to discover that he went there.
They set up a sting operation and arrested Tolbert and the women on prostitution charges last Saturday. All three have previous criminal records.
"I'm very shaken by it, and I want to move, like, right now because it's not safe," said Kafi Roundtree.
Roundtree lives next door to Tolbert. She says he moved in a short while ago, but she didn't hear any sort of struggle, just occasional music.
"Just music. I just thought it was a neighborly party. I didn't think it was anything serious," she said.
Police say the marine unit will be back out on the river in the coming days looking for the rest of Zarzycki's remains.