Ex-husband and girlfriend murder teacher, keep charred remains in storage facility surrounded by air fresheners to avoid detection
Police say the body of the teacher was damaged so badly that the medical examiner needed her dental records to identify her
The estranged husband of Staten Island teacher Jeanine Cammarata and his eight months pregnant girlfriend have been charged with second-degree murder, tampering with evidence and concealing a human corpse. The charges were made after police found the charred remains of Jeanine's body which the duo had allegedly stuffed in a storage locker, said prosecutors on Friday. Michael Cammarata, 42, and his pregnant girlfriend, Ayisha Egea, 41 have been remanded to custody without bond during their arraignment on Friday, at Staten Island Criminal Court.
According to a report in NY Post, the two killed Jeanine somewhere between Saturday and Monday at their home in Rockaway Beach, Queens after which they burned her body to cover up their crime. In fact, the body was damaged so badly that the medical examiner needed her dental records to identify the body.
Jeanine's burned body was stuffed in a trash bag and put into a storage section in Staten Island’s Arden Heights using a large bin in the facilities added sources from prosecutor and law enforcement. The victim who taught at PS 29 on Staten Island was last seen on March 30 when she told her friends and family that she would be picking up her two children, but she never made it back. After the weekend, she was not seen at any of her jobs, working full-time as a teacher and part-time at a Dollar Tree store. Her car – a 2017 white Chevy Cruze was also missing.
The father Michael, and Jeanine have been separated since May 2016 and there has reportedly also been incidents of domestic violence while the two had been together. Michael and Jeanine were also involved in a custody battle over their children - a 3-year-old boy and 7-year-old girl.
Jeanine had served divorce papers to Michael a couple of days before she had disappeared and the two were expected at the family court on Monday. Jeanine's friend Jessica Pobega suspected something was fishy when she began getting text messages from Jeanine's phone on Monday, but she did not believe it was her friend who was making those replies. She said later on Facebook, "May they suffer in the 10th circle of hell. I will miss you forever … I will make sure they pay … I will make sure that they see my face at that trial.. you will have justice … They had no right to take you away like that … you deserved the world."
Jeanine was also reported missing by her boyfriend on Tuesday, following which police had released notices seeking information on the missing woman. On Wednesday, police questioned Michael and charged him with assault after he admitted hitting her, reports CBS. And on Thursday, following a tip-off, police were able to locate Jeanine's body in the storage.
While all evidence points at the two of them, Enzo Ramos, a friend of Egea defended her saying, "She didn’t do it. The man admitted to doing it by himself. The police are trying to charge her saying she knew about it, and that’s why she is being charged," and added, "She will be beating the charges and released. She was home the entire time, and the cameras of the complex prove she was not with him."
Police believe Jeanine was killed at Egea’s Queens apartment then transported by van to the Staten Island storage facility, where they lined the unit with air fresheners to mask the smell. Jeanine's children are now in the care of the Administration for Children’s Services.