Monday, June 24, 2024

Squatters who killed woman over inherited home bought diamond ring, PS5 on interstate shopping spree: docs

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A teen squatter couple who beat a New York mother to death when she found them living in her inherited Manhattan apartment went on a spending spree with her stolen credit cards, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. 

Nadia Vitels, 52, was found dead in a duffel bag hidden under a pile of coats in her 19th floor East 31st Street apartment by her stunned son on March 14, Fox News Digital previously reported. Her beloved dog was alone at the scene. 

Halley Tejada, 19, and Kensley Alston, 18, fled the scene toward Pennsylvania in Vitels’ Lexus SUV. Before they were captured nine days later, the pair went on a shopping spree with her credit cards – among their purchases were clothing, food, airpods, a PS5 and a diamond ring, District Attorney Alvin Bragg wrote in a press release.

NEW YORK MOTHER FOUND STUFFED IN DUFFEL BAG AFTER MOVING INTO HOME, PEOPLE SEEN LEAVING IN HER CAR: REPORT

Nadia Vitel, 52, was found dead inside a duffle bag at her new apartment on East 31st Street near the intersection of 3rd Avenue last Thursday.  (Nadia Vitel on Facebook)

Tejada and Alston appeared in court last Thursday on charges of second-degree murder, burglary, robbery, criminal possession of stolen property, grand larceny and concealment of a human corpse, per their indictments.

Prosecutors say they stomped Vitels to death, stuffing her into the bag while she was still breathing. When she was found, according to the New York Post, her leg was sticking out of the bag and cords were wrapped around her neck and torso.

“You should put your shoes on,” Alston allegedly told her boyfriend, prosecutors said. “You’re going to hurt yourself.”

TWO ARRESTED IN PENNSYLVANIA AFTER NEW YORK SQUATTERS ALLEGEDLY KILLED WOMAN, STUFFED HER IN DUFFEL BAG

Halley Tejada

Halley Tejada is pictured in police custody leaving the NYPD’s 17th Precinct stationhouse on Thursday, April 18, 2024 in Manhattan, New York. (Barry Williams for New York Daily News)

Vitels, a marketer who once ran tennis star Maria Sharapova’s candy line, had just returned from a trip to Spain when she began moving into the apartment on March 10. It had been vacant for three or four months after her mother’s death, Fox News Digital previously reported. 

The two squatters could be seen on security footage less than 90 minutes after Vitels dropped off a load of her things with a large pink suitcase in tow, court documents said.

Two days later, Vitels came face-to-face with the squatters – she demanded they leave, prosecutors said, but Tejada allegedly screamed that he was going to kill her. 

NYPD SEEKS SQUATTERS ACCUSED OF KILLING, STUFFING WOMAN INTO DUFFEL BAG: REPORTS

Prosecutors said Kensley Alston told her boyfriend Halley Tejada, pictured, that he should “put some shoes on” while he stomped Nadia Vitels to dead on March 12. (Barry Williams for the New York Daily News)

She ran toward the bedroom window, but Tejada caught up with her and threw her to the ground. Two days later, family members who found her body in the apartment saw a large crack in the wall where he had stomped her to death, Bragg wrote in his press release. 

Medical examiners determined she had blunt force injuries to her head, multiple facial fractures, two broken ribs and a brain injury, prosecutors wrote. 

U.S. Marshals apprehended the pair in Lower Paxton Township after they got into a car crash in the stolen car. Tejada did not have car insurance, and the vehicle was impounded – upon running its license plates several days later, authorities learned that it had been reported stolen out of New York. 

Both Tejada and Alston were held without bail pending their return court appearances. 

Forensic investigators respond after a Nadia Vitels’ body was discovered in an apartment at 206 East 31st Street in Manhattan, New York City on Thursday, March 14, 2024. (Gardiner Anderson for NY Daily News via Getty Images)

Tejada was allowed to hug his father in the courtroom, the New York Post reported. But prosecutors said he had a pending criminal mischief charge for kicking in a glass door at his dad’s Washington Heights apartment when Vitels was killed. 

Vitels’ 23-year-old son, Michael Medvedev, said at his mother’s funeral that she was “so excited” to be “getting ready to move to New York City where she would conquer the world,” Fox News Digital previously reported. 

Originally from Moscow, Vitels landed a job as a marketer for a nonprofit after attending graduate school in Miami, then for camera company Canon and cellphone company Nokia.

Police stand outside of the apartment building where the body of a woman was found stuffed in a dufflebag

Police investigate after a Nadia Vitels’ body was discovered in an apartment at 206 East 31st Street in Manhattan, New York City, on March 14, 2024. (Gardiner Anderson/New York Daily News/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

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“Kensly Alston and Halley Tejada allegedly murdered Nadia Vitels in her own apartment while she was moving in to start a new chapter of her life. I send my deepest condolences to her friends and family as they continue to mourn her loss,” Bragg wrote in his press release. “My Office will secure justice for Nadia Vitels.”

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