Two arrested in Pennsylvania after New York squatters allegedly killed woman, stuffed her in duffel bag

Police have captured two people of interest after a New York woman was allegedly killed by squatters and stuffed into a duffel bag in her apartment.

Two people connected to the death of 52-year-old Nadia Vitels were captured in York, Pennsylvania, Friday by the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force, the New York Police Department told Fox News Digital.

Halley Tejada, 19, and a 16-year-old female were taken into custody by the Marshals at 10:07 a.m. Friday. Both were charged with receiving stolen property.

It is unclear when they will be extradited to New York. Additional charges are still pending.

NEW YORK MOTHER FOUND STUFFED IN DUFFEL BAG AFTER MOVING INTO HOME, PEOPLE SEEN LEAVING IN HER CAR: REPORT

Nadia Vitels, 52, was found dead inside a duffel bag inside her new apartment on East 31st Street near the intersection of 3rd Avenue March 14. (Nadia Vitels on Facebook)

Police were able to track down the suspects after they got into a minor crash March 13 in Vitels’ stolen Lexus SUV, the Lower Paxton Township Bureau of Police wrote in a press release.

Tejada immediately gave police his information. The teen girl initially gave a false name and birth date, according to the release.

“Pressing the female for factual information, and after warning her that failing to tell the truth would lead to her arrest, she then provided her actual name, and the information was subsequently verified by the juvenile’s mother,” the department wrote.

AFGHAN REFUGEE CONVICTED OF MURDER IN NEW MEXICO KILLING OF MUSLIM MAN

The vehicle did not have insurance coverage and was towed from the scene. After running the vehicle’s license plate on March 16, Pennsylvania police saw the NYPD had flagged the vehicle as stolen. Upon contacting police in New York, investigators learned its owner had been killed and brought the vehicle to their impound lot.

Vitels was found in her apartment, located on East 31st Street in Manhattan, unconscious and unresponsive inside the bag March 14, 2024, at about 4:30 p.m.

Police wrote in their news release Friday they believe Vitels was killed on or before March 13.

The 52-year-old mother was preparing the apartment after recently returning from Spain. It was owned by her mother and had been vacant for three to four months, according to ABC News.

Philadelphia Police searching for suspect in murder of 88-year-old veteran Video

Instead, she found two people living inside. The apartment had no front door, with only an elevator opening into the space, according to the outlet. It is still unclear how they accessed the space.

Police discovered the body when Vitels’ family requested a welfare check after not seeing her for 48 hours. Michael Medvedev, Vitels’ son, found the duffel bag under a coat in the woman’s closet when the superintendent of her building let him look around, according to the New York Post.

BROTHER OF SLAIN NYPD OFFICER WARNS AGAINST KILLER’S POSSIBLE RELEASE: ‘THIS MUTT DESERVES TO STAY IN JAIL’

The New York medical examiner determined theRussian native’s cause of death to be blunt force trauma, the New York Daily News reported. Her manner of death is being investigatedas a homicide.

“We believe that some squatters took the apartment over and this woman came home … and walked in on the squatters that were there,” NYPD Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny said, as reported by the New York Post.

Vitels sustained the trauma after a struggle, and she was slammed against a wall by one of the intruders, ABC News reported.

Police said that they were searching for two people were seen on surveillance video fleeing from the apartment in Vitels’ Lexus SUV.

Police stand outside the building where Vitels’ body was discovered. (Gardiner Anderson/New York Daily News/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

The duo fled across the George Washington Bridge into New Jersey, then to Pennsylvania, where they crashed the SUV in Lower Paxton Township, the New York Post reported.

The NYPD was not alerted until the next day, Pennsylvania officials said, because the vehicle wasn’t reported stolen until Vitels was found dead.

Police also said the pair visited several local car dealerships after the crash to attempt to purchase a vehicle for $1,000.

“As of right now, we have probable cause. We have two subjects. We have the Regional Fugitive Task Force actively hunting as we speak,” Kenny said before Friday’s arrest, noting one of the squatters had been arrested previously.

Vitels grew up in Moscow, then moved to Stillwater, Oklahoma, for college, her son said at her funeral Monday, the Daily News reported.

She landed a job as a marketer for a nonprofit after attending graduate school in Miami, then for camera company Canon and cellphone company Nokia. She loved tennis and ran tennis star Maria Sharapova’s candy line, the Daily News reported.

Christina Coulter is a U.S. and World reporter for Fox News Digital. Email story tips to [email protected].

Check Also

California mom who watched rich and powerful 'narcissist' mow down her two sons makes promise to killer

The mother of two California boys who were killed by a rich and powerful socialite …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *