A man and his girlfriend are accused of working together to kill his estranged wife, years after the girlfriend worked as a babysitter for couple when they were still together.
Last week police found charred human remains at a storage facility in their search for missing Staten Island teacher and mom Jeanine Cammarata.
As investigators work to identify those remains, they have arrested Michael Cammarata and Ayisha Egea, both of Queens. They both face murder and other charges in Jeanine's death, according to the Associated Press.
Jeanine was reported missing after she failed to show up for her job at Public School 29. She also missed a court date in her divorce case.
Egea used to be the Cammarata's babysitter. She began working for the couple in late 2017, Jeanine’s landlord and friend Jose Perez told The New York Post.
“Jeanine paid [Egea] really well to steal her family,” Perez claimed. “Mike was having an affair while they were still together. She just realized it after it started escalating. [...] They certainly weren’t hiding it.”
He claims that Egea wanted to take over Jeanine’s life.
“I even told Jeanine, ‘She’s after your money. She wants to be you now. She was a food-stamp recipient and at the same time she’s trying to get your money. She’s trying to become you.’”
Other friends, however, say Jeanine wanted her estranged husband to become involved with Egea. Her friend Jessica Pobega told the New York Daily News that Jeanine actually encouraged her husband to start seeing Egea because she allegedly felt like her husband was stalking her.
“Jeanine actually set up Mike and Ayisha because she wanted Mike to be occupied and leave her alone,” Pobega claimed. “She [Jeanine] actually introduced them in the hopes that Mike would stop stalking her.”
At some point, Egea moved in and Jeanine moved out. That’s when Perez stepped in and offered her a new place to live.
“She told me that Ayisha was babysitting their kids and then she found out that they were having a relationship," Perez told the New York Daily News. “She was trying to get rid of Mike. She thought if he kept busy with her, he wouldn’t be stalking her.”
However, he claimed that he did continue to stalk her. Perez even said Cammarata updated her will within days of going missing.
In the days since her disappearance, friends and family of Jeanine reported receiving bizarre, cryptic texts from her phone. However, they weren’t able to verify if the messages were actually coming from her.
Cammarata had initiated divorce proceedings in February, which appeared to trigger a nasty custody battle, The New York Times reported. The couple had a history of domestic disputes, according to Newsday.
It’s not clear if either Cammarata or Egea have lawyers who can speak on their behalf at this time.
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