Mother-Of-Three Reportedly Murdered by Estranged Husband and His New Girlfriend
The charred remains of a New York City teacher and mother of three were found last Thursday inside a storage container. Police arrested the woman’s estranged husband and his pregnant girlfriend for murder, and cover-up of the body.
Jeanine Cammarata, 37, was last seen on Saturday night when she dropped her boyfriend off at his home. She said she was going to visit her estranged husband, Michael Cammarata, 42, and their two children at the house he shared with his new girlfriend in Queens.
THE ESTRANGED COUPLE'S STORY
Jeanine and Michael split in 2016 and according to friends, had a gruesome story of domestic abuse.
Resolved to leave their tumultuous relationship behind, and earn sole custody of her children, Jeanine had served the man divorce papers two days before she disappeared.
“I think the love for her children and dedication resulted in her doing what she could to see the children, and the results were devastating for her. I can only imagine the terror she endured."
The estranged couple had a scheduled hearing at the Family Court on Monday to keep discussing the custody of their kids—a 3-year-old boy and 7-year-old girl — but never showed up.
Jeanine’s boyfriend filed a missing person report on Tuesday after she didn’t show up to any of her two jobs, as a teacher at Public School 29 on Staten Island, and a dollar tree store.
THE ARREST AND CHILLING DISCOVERY
Michael was first arrested on Tuesday, and he admitted to police he had punched Jeanine after they had sex on their Saturday meeting. He was held in custody facing charges for misdemeanor harassment and stalking.
According to reports, it was Ayisha Egea, 41, Michael’s six-months pregnant girlfriend, who led police to the place where Jeanine’s burnt body was found.
Footage from surveillance cameras shows Michael carrying a large trash bag out of his department in Queens, and then dumping the remains with the help of another person, believed to be Egea, at Staten Island’s Arden Heights section using one of the facility’s large bins.
Jeanine’s body was found surrounded with air fresheners, apparently set up to hide the putrid smell, a law enforcement source said.
The woman’s body was burned so severely that the ID was made through dental records, said Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Barbara Sampson.
The cause of death has not been made public yet, as it believed a more thorough autopsy is required for the murder investigation.
Michael Cammarata and Ayisha Egea were arraigned in Staten Island court Friday on charges of murder, concealment of a human corpse and tampering with physical evidence. They are being held without bail.
Eric M. Gansberg, Jeanine’s divorce attorney, told People he believes Michael used the kids as bait to get the woman to visit him, as she was afraid of him.
“I think the love for her children and dedication resulted in her doing what she could to see the children, and the results were devastating for her. I can only imagine the terror she endured,” he said.
THE IRONY OF THE SITUATION
Jessica Pobega, one of Jeanine’s closest friends, told the New York Daily News that her friend was so desperate to get rid of Michael, she eventually set him up with the mother of one of her students: Ayisha Egea.
“Jeanine actually set up Mike and Ayisha because she wanted Mike to be occupied and leave her alone,” said Pobega. “She (Cammarata) actually introduced them in the hopes that Mike would stop stalking her.”
José Perez, Jeanine’s colleague and landlord, said that weeks before her murder, the teacher updated her will to make sure her children will be taken care of after she was gone.
“She knew something was up,” he said. “She wanted her sister to keep the kids, and she wanted to make sure her kids got everything.”
Jessica Pobega and Jeanine's family are demanding justice to be served for the late teacher.
Cammarata and Egea have another scheduled hearing on April 11.
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