Woman’s Dismembered Body Parts Found in Multiple Locations, Suspects Arrested

Mimi Nguyen Ly
By Mimi Nguyen Ly
August 31USshare

A man and woman were arrested on the night of Aug. 29 for their alleged involvement in the murder of a woman, whose dismembered body parts had been found in several plastic bags in the Bronx just days before.

The 25-year-old woman, Lisa Marie Velasquez, was allegedly killed by her good friend, 30-year-old Ciara Martinez, and the friend’s boyfriend, 31-year-old Daquan Wheeler, according to police.

Investigators say the alleged murder occurred on Aug. 22. Martinez had called Velasquez for help after having been involved in a fight with Wheeler.

Velasquez’s aunt Jacqueline Perez said she was last seen running out of the house.

“The last thing my mother remembers is her coming, grabbing her bag, and being in a rush and saying that she had to go help a friend that was in danger,” Perez told ABC News.

According to what a law enforcement source told News 4, Martinez and Wheeler were in the midst of a fight when Velasquez arrived at their shared apartment. Wheeler left the apartment, at which point Velasquez called police.

Police arrived to take a domestic violence complaint that involved Martinez, Wheeler and their child, and then left.

“[Velasquez] called, reporting what she was claiming to be a kidnapping and the kidnapping turned out to be the father of the child removing the child from the apartment,” NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said, reported the New York Post.

When Wheeler came back some time later and found that police had gotten involved, he allegedly killed Velasquez with a hammer, police said.

Velasquez’s body was cut up with a machete and meat cleaver, police said. They believe Martinez had assisted Wheeler in dismembering the body in the bathroom of the apartment.

The New York Post reported that according to sources, Wheeler told Martinez—who was present inside the apartment the whole time—that if she did not help him cut up the body, he was going to kill her and her children.

Police said that when they arrived at the couple’s apartment on Aug. 29, it smelled like bleach and there was a fresh coat of paint in the bathroom.

Velasquez’s body was identified on Aug. 29, and according to the medical examiner, she had died of skull-crushing blows to the head.

“The way she was tortured, for Christ’s sake, she didn’t deserve that,” said Velasquez’s distraught aunt, Jacqueline Perez. “Who in their right minds would do something like this? She’s my niece. She didn’t deserve this.”

No Stranger to Tragedy

Velasquez had witnessed her own mother, who was nearly nine months pregnant at the time, being murdered when she was only 12 or 13 back in 2006, 4 News reported.

Police said Velasquez’s mother, Marilyn Ginel, was murdered in front of her three children—beaten, stabbed, and strangled by her on-and-off boyfriend, Robert Coakley. The unborn child also died.

Perez, who was Ginel’s sister, told 4News that the coincidence was painful.

“In this lifetime, I never thought we would go through this again,” Perez told 4 News. “This is the second episode … the type of animal that would do something like this to a human being.”

Human Remains Found, But in Parts

Velasquez’s body parts were initially found at Crotona Park on Aug. 24 in two trash bags. Police had recovered Velasquez’s head and lower torso from the site, and they later released to the public a sketch of the then-unidentified face.

On Aug. 28, police found three more bags of human remains under a pier at Barretto Point Park in Hunts Point—a location about three miles from Crotona Park.

Wheeler was charged with murder, manslaughter as well as concealment of a human corpse, tampering with physical evidence, and criminal possession of a weapon.

Martinez was charged with criminal facilitation, hindering prosecution and concealment of a human corpse, tampering with physical evidence, and conspiracy.

Both Wheeler and Martinez have had prior convictions. The two were remanded back to jail until their next court appearance on Sept. 4, 4 News reported.