It is a crime that has been described as “vile”, “heinous”, “depraved” and “horrible” by prosecutors and everyone agrees.
Fatima Perez, 41, was the mother of two before she was murdered by being buried alive in a shallow grave by her landscaper who offered her a drive, according to the police.
She was reported missing on Monday evening after she left her East Camden home to buy a car. Her body was discovered on Wednesday in Monroe Township. Authorities said that her mouth and eyes were covered with duct tape before she was buried.
Autopsy results show that Perez died of asphyxiation.
According to investigators, Alicea-Antonetti – who was known by her family and did some landscaping work for her – picked up Perez on that fateful day to take her to where she was going to buy the car for which purpose she was holding about $8,000.
He said that she fell out of his van after they had had an argument and then climbed back in, regardless of any injuries. He then admitted that he picked Ortiz up and they later bound and taped Perez’s eyes and mouth shut.
Ortiz denied taking part in the binding and taping of Perez, saying that she was like that when he got into the van. He also said that she begged him for help as they drove to the site where they were going to bury her.
The men then covered the grave with branches and debris, to camouflage the spot, and left.
Police arrested the duo after a tipoff and found $7,000 on Alicea-Antonetti. Ortiz led the police to the spot where they had buried Perez.
Each man is a repeat offender, with prior convictions, and faces life without parole.