A Clifton Heights man killed his ex-girlfriend and dismembered her body with a machete in the apartment they shared, Delaware County authorities said Friday.

Nicholas Scurria, 32, has been charged with first- and third-degree murder, abuse of corpse, and related offenses. He remained in custody, denied bail.

Investigators declined to identify the victim, 58, pending notification of her family.

Officers were called to the Willow Apartments on Springfield Road a little before 5 a.m. for reports of a domestic disturbance, police said. A neighbor in a nearby unit had heard screaming, banging, and later “sawing-like sounds,” according to the affidavit of probable cause for Scurria’s arrest.

Through a window, the officers saw Scurria sitting on a bed beside a decapitated body, attempting to cut off a leg, the affidavit said.

The officers forced their way into the apartment, and confronted Scurria, who told them he and his ex-girlfriend had gotten into an argument earlier that morning and he repeatedly punched her, knocking her unconscious, according to the affidavit. He said he then tried to dismember her with the machete to dispose of the evidence, the affidavit said.

In a statement Friday, Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer said the killing underscores the dangers of domestic violence and urged anyone in an abusive relationship to seek help.

“Based on the defendant’s statements at the time of his arrest, in response to what the defendant perceived as a threat to his masculinity, he brutally killed and then dismembered his victim,” Stollsteimer said. “His actions were cowardly as well as evil, and he will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”