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Man Charged With Allegedly Helping Woman Hide Her Girlfriend's Dead Body In 2012
Yonkers Police say Wanda Veguilla confessed to killing her girlfriend before an "accomplice" helped her dump the body in a garbage bag. They've charged John Torres as the accomplice.
Police have made a second arrest in the 2012 cold case murder of a Bronx teacher’s assistant.
On Sept. 4, 2012, officers responded to a report of a suspicious package in a wooded area between Rossmore Avenue and Midland Avenue in Yonkers — a few blocks east of Sarah Lawrence College — according to a press release from the Yonkers Police Department. They found a decomposing body in a garbage bag, who was eventually identified as Pamela Graddick, 26.
Investigators determined she died from a gunshot wound to the head.
On Jan. 25, 2022, police arrested John Torres, 30 — the second arrest in the case this month. Police say that Torres was “an accomplice” who provided Wanda Veguilla, 40, with the murder weapon before helping her dispose of Graddick’s body. Torres is being charged with felony criminal facilitation, hindering prosecution and tampering with evidence, according to police.
Veguilla had been charged with Graddick’s murder on Jan. 23, 2022.
“The passage of time only reinforces our commitment to solving these heinous crimes,” Commissioner John J. Mueller stated in the release. “The Yonkers Police prides itself on focusing on victims and their families and doing whatever we can to deliver justice for them.”
Police believe Veguilla killed Graddick in the Bronx before transporting her body north and dumping it off the Sprain Brook River Parkway in Yonkers.
“Investigators allege, based on evidence and statements made by Veguilla, that she shot and killed Graddick in their Bronx apartment as a result of ongoing domestic issues between them,” the release stated. “At the time, they were in a relationship and living together.”
Graddick’s last-known movements were captured on surveillance camera as she walked home after visiting friends on Aug. 11, 2012, according to News 12. At the time, Graddick lived with Veguilla and Veguilla’s children.
Two days later, Veguilla told Graddick’s family that she came home to find Graddick gone, according to The Journal News. Relatives reported Graddick missing when she failed to show up at work as a teacher’s assistant.
According to a criminal complaint obtained by The Journal News, Torres and another individual gave Veguilla a paper bag with a gun inside. Detective John Geiss stated Veguilla shot Graddick in the back of the head, possibly while the victim was asleep.
The relationship between Veguilla and Torres remains unclear.
Lacking leads, Yonkers authorities transferred Graddick’s case to the Cold Case Unit in 2014. Though a “person of interest” was identified earlier in the investigation, authorities stated they spent the next several years building a case.
Eventually, Veguilla was arrested and reportedly confessed to the crime.
“I’m happy that she was arrested,” Graddick’s sister said following Veguilla’s arrest. “But it doesn’t bring Pamela back.”
In the years since Graddick's murder, Torres served a five-year sentence for robbery and weapon possession and has been on post-release supervision since 2019, according to The Journal News.
“I hope that these arrests bring some degree of closure to Pamela’s family and friends,” Mueller continued. “And I applaud the extraordinary efforts of our Cold Case detectives in closing out this case after so many years.”
Both Torres and Veguilla were arraigned in Yonkers Criminal Court and remain in the Westchester County Jail. Veguilla is scheduled to appear before a judge on Feb. 10, while Torres is expected to appear on Feb. 8, according to jail records.
The Westchester County District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting the case.