The estranged husband of Jeanine Cammarata and his girlfriend were charged with murder Friday, after officials positively identified charred remains found in a Staten Island storage facility as the missing New York City teacher, authorities said.
Michael Cammarata, 42, and his current girlfriend, Ayisha Egea, were arrested and charged with second-degree murder, concealment of human corpse, and tampering with evidence in connection to the mother-of-three’s death, the Staten Island District Attorney's office said. The pair were ordered held without bail during their Friday arraignment at Staten Island Criminal Court.
“The investigation into the disappearance of Jeanine Cammarata is now officially a murder investigation,” New York Police Chief Dermot Shea tweeted, announcing the charges. “Working closely with (the) Staten Island DA we have arrested Michael Cammarata & Ayisha Egea, both charged with (second-degree) murder.”
The charges come just one day after officials found the 37-year-old woman’s body, which was “burned beyond recognition,” inside a storage facility in Staten Island. Police said her estranged husband was “the primary suspect.”
Jeanine Cammarata was last seen Saturday night leaving her boyfriend’s house to pick up two of her children from Michael Cammarata’s Queens home. The first-grade teacher was reported missing on Tuesday after she failed to show up to Staten Island’s P.S. 29, her part-time job at a Dollar Tree, and a Monday court hearing in her divorce case against Cammarata, authorities said.
On Tuesday, the father-of-two was taken into police custody and charged with felony counts of stalking and assault after he admitted to hitting Jeanine the day before she disappeared, a senior NYPD official told The Daily Beast on Thursday.
“Investigators interviewed Michael Cammarata [who] admitted he was with Jeanine on Sunday,” the senior law-enforcement official said, adding that he later admitted to “having sex with her” and “striking her.”
After a multi-county search, police arrived at the Extra Space Store in Village Greens on Thursday morning and found a body “charred beyond visual confirmation” and stuffed inside a large plastic bin.
Though the Medical Examiner’s Office is conducting a thorough autopsy, they positively identified the body as Jeanine Cammarata Friday morning, a spokesperson told The Daily Beast.