Editor’s note: Police initially released an incorrect photo of one of the persons of interest. The story has been updated with the correct photo.
NEW YORK (PIX11) — Months after the bodies of two 22-year-old New Yorkers were found in a burning car in the Bronx, police released the names of two people sought for questioning in connection with the double homicide.
NYPD officials said they’re looking for 30-year-old Jahmel Sanders and 34-year-old Steven Santiago.
The bodies of Jesse Parrilla and Nikki Huang were found in a burning car on Shore Road near the Pelham Split Rock Course in mid-May, police said. Parrilla died of gunshot wounds to the head and chest while Huang suffered fatal gunshot wounds to the head and neck.
Parrilla attended Genessee Community College upstate and played basketball, his mom said. He was giving Huang a ride on the day he was killed.
“He wasn’t affiliated with gangs, he wasn’t into any of that stuff,” his grieving mother, Michelle Morales, previously told PIX11 News inside her East Village apartment. “Jesse was always on his career path. I never really allowed him to hang out.”
Parrilla went to middle school with Huang. She was often seen at her family’s Manhattan restaurant.
“She’s always helping,” her father, Don Huang, previously told PIX11 News. “She’s a nice girl, always smiling.”
Her mother, Amy Chan, said her daughter worked multiple jobs. She was trying to be independent.
“She helped with the family business during the day and picked up graveyard shifts at another restaurant because she was so excited about starting life with her new place,” Chan said.
As the search for answers continued Thursday, police asked anyone with information to come forward. Sanders is around 5 feet, 7 inches tall and weighs about 150 pounds, police said. Santiago is around 6 feet, 1 inch tall and weighs about 220 pounds.
Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, downloading the NYPD Crime Stoppers mobile app, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).