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Squatters accused of killing woman who found them living in late mother’s NYC apartment

Squatters accused of killing woman who found them living in late mother’s NYC apartment

Two teenage squatters were arrested after a woman was killed and her body stuffed in a duffel bag after she walked in on them living in her late mother’s New York apartment.

The suspects were taken into custody for questioning, ABC News reports, citing police sources.

The victim, identified as 52-year-old Nadia Vitel, had come to the United States to prepare her mother’s Manhattan apartment for a family friend, the outlet stated.

Vitel’s mother purportedly died a few months ago and the apartment had been vacant for a while, the outlet reported.

“We believe that some squatters took the apartment over and this woman came home to get this apartment set up and walked in on the squatters that were there,” said NYPD Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny., according to PIX11.

Her remains were stuffed inside a closet of this apartment building (CBS News New York)
Her remains were stuffed inside a closet of this apartment building (CBS News New York)

Her body was first discovered inside a duffel bag in the front closet of an apartment on 14 March after the building superintendent Jean Pompee let in family members who were concerned about her after they hadn’t heard from her.

"I’ve been here 22 years. We’ve never had an incident like this," Mr Pompee said to ABC7.

Police found Vitel in the closet with her foot hanging out in an apartment on the 19th floor of the building at around 4.30pm, NYPD Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny said, according to PIX11.

“The [victim’s] son opens up the closet door near the front door and discovers a duffel bag,” Chief Kenny reportedly said.

The persons of interest have now been taken into custody, police sources say (NBC4)
The persons of interest have now been taken into custody, police sources say (NBC4)

Many of her belongings also ended up down a garbage chute, and the squatters, believed to be a man and a woman, were reportedly spotted going in and out of the building and neighbours heard the chute opening and closing, Mr Kenny said.

Police are investigating the case as a homicide, and medical examiners say that Vitel had died from blunt force head trauma, CBS reported.

The squatters are accused of stealing Vitel’s Lexus car and driving to Pennsylvania, where they reportedly crashed the vehicle near Harrisburg.

The suspects were eventually taken into custody on Friday in York, Pennsylvania, according to ABC News.

The Independent has contacted the NYPD for further information.