NEW YORK (PIX11) — The NYPD on Friday released photos of three suspects wanted in the drug-induced killings of two men after they left LGBTQ+ clubs in Hell’s Kitchen last spring.
The NYPD revealed the homicides were part of a citywide robbery pattern that occurred between Sept. 19, 2021, and Aug. 28, 2022. The NYPD is seeking Jayqwan Hamilton, 35, of Brooklyn, Robert Demaio, 34, of Brooklyn, and Jacob Barroso, of Manhattan.
They’re wanted in connection with the death of Julio Ramirez, a 25-year-old social worker, and John Umberger, a 33-year-old political consultant who was visiting New York City from Washington, D.C.
Ramirez was last seen leaving The Ritz bar in Hell’s Kitchen on April 21, 2022, and getting into a taxi with three men, police have said. Ramirez was found dead, alone, in the back of the cab 90 minutes later. His autopsy showed he died from a toxic combination of fentanyl, p-fluorofentanyl, lidocaine, ethanol and other drugs. His cellphone was missing and his bank accounts were cleared of $17,000, according to police.
On May 28, 2022, surveillance footage showed Umberger, 33, being led to a cab outside The Q, another popular gay club located on Eighth Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen. He was sandwiched between two men, with another man waiting in a car. The two men were later seen taking Umberger into his boss’ townhouse on East 61st Street and emerging sometime later, police said. Umberger’s body was found on June 1 during a wellness check.
A toxicology report showed he died from a similar cocktail of lethal drugs as Ramirez. Police also discovered $22,000 had been stolen from Umberger’s credit card and bank accounts by thieves taking advantage of the facial recognition device on his smartphone.
The Manhattan district attorney has been holding grand jury proceedings for the last month dealing with two different robbery patterns involving lethal drugs and homicides.
The Office of Chief Medical Examiner has released toxicology results on at least seven people who have died during drug-induced thefts.
NYPD investigators believe more than 40 people have been robbed by different crews using drugs to incapacitate their victims. Famous fashion designer Katie Gallagher was recently identified as one of the victims who died last July.