NEW YORK — The woman whose body was found wrapped in a blanket in the trunk of a car on a Long Island street was beaten to death with a machete and a bat.
Four men were indicted Wednesday in Nazareth Claure’s April death, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said. Claure’s remains were found after police followed a car from the Far Rockaway section of Queens to the Long Island town of Lawrence.
“This was a cruel, ruthless killing,” Katz said. “As alleged, the defendants attacked the victim and beat her to death with a machete and a bat. A young boy is now without his mother and a community is grieving.”
Claure’s body was found wrapped in a blanket on April 14; the 31-year-old woman was killed on April 11, Katz said.
At the time, law enforcement sources told PIX11 the slaying was related to MS-13 gang activity. Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations New York Peter Fitzhugh confirmed a gang connection Wednesday.
“This brutal act of violence against an innocent woman is yet another reminder of the depraved indifference to human life that continues the be the calling card of various street gangs in NY,” Fitzhugh said in an emailed statement. “HSI and our law enforcement partners refuse to let these mobs’ ruthlessness intimidate our communities and we remain steadfast in our mission to eliminate the threat they pose to public safety.”
Allan Lopez, 22; Jose Sarmiento, 21; Anander Henriquez, 28 and Rigel Yohairo, 20, were arraigned Tuesday on a seven-count indictment. They were charged with murder in the second degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree. Lopez, Sarmiento and Yohairo were also charged with concealment of a human corpse and tampering with physical evidence. Henriquez was also charged with aggravated criminal contempt and Lopez was also charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree.