Bronx DA: Bronx Couple Indicted In Connection With Killing And Dismemberment


Man Charged With Murder; He and Girlfriend Charged with Mutilating Body and Discarding Remains in Bronx Parks

Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark today announced the indictment of two defendants in connection with the murder and dismemberment of a Bronx woman.

District Attorney Clark said, “In a series of horrifying acts, the victim was fatally beaten and her body was dismembered. In the ultimate degradation of a human being, her remains were put in garbage bags and discarded in two public parks. The defendants stand accused of conduct that is beyond the pale.”

District Attorney Clark said Daquan Wheeler, 31, was indicted on second-degree Murder, first-degree Manslaughter, second-degree Criminal Facilitation, and fourth-degree Criminal Possession of a Weapon. Ciara Martinez, 30, was indicted on second-degree Criminal Facilitation and first-degree Hindering Prosecution. Both defendants were indicted on Concealment of a Human Corpse, Tampering with Physical Evidence, and fourth-degree and fifth-degree Conspiracy. They were arraigned today before Bronx Supreme Court Justice George Villegas and remand was continued. Wheeler is due back in court on January 8, 2019 and Martinez is due back on December 20, 2018.

According to the investigation, on August 22, 2018 at 1006 Longfellow Avenue, where the defendants were living in an apartment, Wheeler allegedly struck the victim, Lisa Marie Velasquez, 25, in the head with a hammer, causing her death. Velasquez had gone to the apartment to aid Martinez, who was fighting with Wheeler. The defendants allegedly moved the victim’s body from the bedroom to the bathroom and cleaned the bedroom to conceal the murder. Martinez and Wheeler then allegedly placed their clothes and Velasquez’s clothes in garbage bags and took them to a park nearby, where they dumped them in the water.

According to the investigation, the defendants then went to a hardware store and bought garbage bags and a machete. They allegedly cut up the victim’s body and placed the parts in bags, and placed some of the bags in the water off Barretto Point Park. Wheeler and Martinez then got a van and retrieved the other bags from the apartment and took them to Crotona Park, where they left them. The defendants then went back to the apartment and cleaned and painted the interior of the residence, in an effort to conceal the crime.

On August 24, 2018, a city Parks Department worker found the bags containing Velasquez’s remains in Crotona Park and on August 28, 2018, people visiting Barretto Point Park discovered the bags containing the rest of her remains. They were matched to Velasquez, who had been reported missing.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney L. Newton Mendys, Supervisor in the Homicide Bureau, under the supervision of Christine Scaccia, Chief of the Homicide Bureau, and the overall supervision of James Brennan, Deputy Chief of the Trial Division, and Theresa Gottlieb, Chief of the Trial Division.

District Attorney Clark thanked NYPD Detective Sasha Brugal of the 42nd Precinct Squad, NYPD Detective Dominic Robinson of the Bronx Homicide Squad and the NYPD Crime Scene Unit for their work on the case.

An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.

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