Detectives arrested a Rockaway man and his girlfriend on Friday for the murder of the man’s wife, whose charred remains were found in a Staten Island storage facility on Thursday.
Michael Cammarata, 42, and Ayisha Egea, 41, of Beach 56th Place in Arverne, were charged with second-degree murder, concealment of a human corpse and tampering with physical evidence in connection with the death of Jeanine Cammarata, 37, of Staten Island.
The victim was Michael Cammarata’s estranged wife. The pair had reportedly been in the middle of a divorce and a custody battle over their children. Jeanine was last seen alive on March 31 in Queens; she had told relatives that she was going to visit her children at Michael’s home.
According to the Staten Island Advance, Jeanine disappeared just two days after serving her estranged husband with divorce papers.
Michael Cammarata had been arrested initially on April 3 after admitting to police that he had previously assaulted his estranged wife, WABC-TV reported. Those charges were upgraded to murder on April 5 after the Medical Examiner’s office identified the remains as that of Jeanine Cammarata.
“The investigation into the disappearance of Jeanine Cammarata is now officially a murder investigation,” NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea tweeted on Friday. “Working closely with @StatenIslandDA, we have arrested Michael Cammarata & Ayisha Egea, both charged with Murder 2°.”
Members of the 120th Precinct Detective Squad launched an investigation on April 2 after it was reported that Jeanine Cammarata never made it to work at the Staten Island public school where she taught.
As the investigation unfolded, it was reported, police learned of and recovered video footage of Michael Cammarata and an unknown accomplice allegedly hauling a large bag from Queens to the Staten Island storage facility.
On April 4, officers searched the facility and found the charred remains, later determined to be Jeanine Cammarata, in a storage room, the Staten Island Advance reported.
The Cammarata children, meanwhile, have been placed in protective custody, according to published reports.
Law enforcement officials said on Thursday that the Richmond County (Staten Island) District Attorney’s office will be prosecuting the case through an agreement reached with the Queens District Attorney’s office.