The remains of Lisa Marie Velasquez, 25, were found in two parks in the Bronx in the last week.
A woman’s boyfriend beat her best friend to death with a hammer for the couple dismembered the body, filled with the remains in plastic bags and dumped them in New York City parks, police said Wednesday.
Daquan Wheeler, 31, and his girlfriend, Ciara Martinez, 30, were arrested and charged after Lisa Marie Velasquez’s remains were discovered in Crotona Park and near the pier in Barretto Point Park in the Bronx last week. Authorities had released a sketch of the identification of the dismembered body.
Ciara Martinez, 30, and Daquan Wheeler, 31, was arrested in connection with the death of Lisa Marie Velasquez. The mugshots are from 2013 and 2017.
(New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision)
Martinez, as she was led by the police Wednesday evening, told reporters that Velasquez was her best friend.”
“She was my friend. I loved her,” Martinez said.
CIARA MARTINEZ: Charged with concealment of a human corpse in the dismemberment of #LisaVelasquez #crime #nyc #bronx @News12BX pic.twitter.com/vYg121XLnM
— Anthony Carlo (@AC_TV12) August 30, 2018
HUMAN REMAINS IN PLASTIC BAGS IN 2 NEW YORK CITY PARKS BELIEVED TO BE THE SAME WOMAN, POLICE SAY
Wheeler and Martinez were in their Bronx apartment when they got into a heated argument, authorities told Fox News. Martinez called Velasquez to the apartment, where Wheeler reportedly bludgeoned the 25-year-old woman with a hammer. Martinez helped dispose of her best friend’s body, police said.
It is unclear when the incident occurred, but last Friday a part of Velasquez’s remains were discovered in Crotona Park. The police initially received a call of a suspicious package, but discovered two black bags containing human body parts.
On Tuesday, a passerby spotted a foot sticking out of a plastic bag by the boardwalk that washed up in Barretto Point Park, about three miles away from the first gruesome discovery. The police came on the spot, and discovered a leg and a foot in a bag. A second pocket with human body parts were also discovered at the scene.
The police released a sketch after the first set of remains in plastic bags were last Friday.
Wheeler was charged with murder, manslaughter, concealment of a human corpse, tampering with physical evidence and criminal possession of a weapon, the NYPD said. Martinez faces charges of criminal facilitation, hindering prosecution, destruction of a human corpse, conspiracy and tampering with physical evidence.
Wheeler has a past criminal history that burglary and theft charges. He has been arrested six times since 2002 and was on parole until 2019 for a recent prison stint at the time of Velasquez’s alleged murder, PIX11 reported. He was convicted in 2008 of attempted second-degree murder and sentenced to seven years in prison, records provided by the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision is indicated.
Velasquez’s aunt, Jacqueline Perez, with tears in his eyes, called ABC7NY her last memory of Velasquez.
“The way she was tortured! For Christ’s sake. They did not deserve this,” she told the news station. “The last thing my mother remembers her come, grab her bag and in a rush, saying that they had to help a friend who was in danger, and she ran out of the house.”
“That is the last thing.”
Katherine Lam is a breaking and trending news digital producer for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter via @bykatherinelam