Parks / Police

Longwood couple charged with killing and mutilating victim 

Discarded remains found in Barretto Point, Crotona parks, according to the DA

A Longwood couple has been indicted in connection with the killing of a 25-year-old woman, and the burial of her dismantled remains in Barretto Point Park and Crotona Park earlier this month. 

Police say Daquan Wheeler, 31, came to the aid of his girlfriend, Ciara Martinez, 30, in their apartment at 1006 Longfellow Avenue, while Martinez was fighting with the victim, Lisa Marie Velasquez. 

The defendants allegedly then moved Velasquez’s body from the bedroom to the bathroom and cleaned the bedroom to conceal the murder before going to a hardware store to buy a machete and garbage bags. They then put their own clothes and Velasquez’s clothes in garbage bags, cut up the victim’s body and placed the parts in bags, then took the bags to Barretto Point Park and dumped them in the water.

Wheeler and Martinez are charged with then getting into a van to take the rest of the bags of remains to transport them to Crotona Park before returning to the apartment to clean and paint it, in an effort to conceal the crime.

On August 24, a parks department worker found the bags containing Velasquez’s remains in Crotona Park and on August 28, visitors to Barretto Point Park discovered the bags with the rest of her remains.

Wheeler was indicted on four counts, including murder. Martinez, 30, was indicted for criminal facilitation and hindering prosecution.

In announcing the indictments, Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark summed up the incident as “a series of horrifying acts. 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,” Clark said in a statement. 

Wheeler is due back in court on January 8 and Martinez on December 20.

The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. 

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