2 in custody in death of woman whose body parts were found in bags near Bronx park

BRONX — Two people are in custody in the death of a woman whose remains were found in four bags in the Bronx, NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said.

Daquan Wheeler, 31, was charged with murder, manslaughter, concealment of a human corpse, tampering with physical evidence and criminal possession of a weapon, police said. Ciara Martinez, a 30-year-old woman, was also charged with criminal facilitation, hindering prosecution, concealment of a human corpse, conspiracy and tampering with physical evidence.

The bags of body parts were found in two different areas in the past week and officials believe the parts belong to the same woman, 25-year-old Lisa Marie Velasquez of the Bronx.

According to police, Martinez called Velasquez to her Longwood apartment where she and her boyfriend, Wheeler, were in the middle of a heated domestic dispute.

When Velasquez showed up, Wheeler hit her in the head with a hammer and beat Velasquez to death, authorities said.

Martinez, who was a witness to the incident, helped dispose of the corpse, police told PIX11. As she was escorted out by police, Martinez told reporters and cameras, "She was my friend. I loved her."

Police found the bags on Aug. 24 when responding to reports of a suspicious package. Two bags were found near Crotona Park South and Franklin Street in the area near Victory Gardens and the Clinton Playground.

On Tuesday, two feet and two legs were found inside two black garbage bags, police sources said. One garbage bag was opened; the other was not.

The bags were discovered by a passerby on rocks at Viele Avenue and Tiffany Street near the pier in Barretto Point Park, according to police sources.

The crime scenes are more than 2 miles apart.

This isn't the first time Velasquez's family has dealt with tragedy. In 2006, Velasquez and her siblings witnessed their mother's murder, the victim's aunt, Jacqueline Perez, told PIX11.

"It's heartbreaking to find out this happened to her because her mother was tortured also," Perez said, "In this lifetime, I never thought we'd go through something like this again."

Wheeler had two stints in prison and was currently on parole until 2019, said police. He has had six arrests since 2002 for charges including burglary and robbery.

Martinez was also convicted in 2010 for an attempted robbery charge in Queens.

Daquan Wheeler (L) and Ciara Martinez (R) were taken into custody for the death of a woman whose remains were found in bags near Bronx parks.