Baby found dead in garbage bag, with strangled mom lying nearby
When police found 3-month-old Genesis Ramirez, she was in a trash bag, suffocated to death, according to a report about her alleged killer's arraignment.
Her mother, Neidy Ramirez, was nearby under a pile of leaves, covered in marks from the cord used to strange her, the NJ Advance Media report says.
Ricardo Carrillo-Santiago, Neidy Ramirez's ex-boyfriend, has been charged with two counts of murder and two counts of disturbing human remains. The report quotes Trial Attorney Michael Ostrowski describing how Carrillo-Santiago allegedly killed both at their Vineland home — in the baby's case, first crushing her chest with a knee, then putting his hand over the baby's mouth and nose.
But the report says Ostrowski didn't discuss Carrillo-Santiago's motivation. He was father to another of Ramirez's children, but not Genesis, and he did not live with his ex-girlfriend.
As previously reported by New Jersey 101.5, Ramirez was last seen on Friday, and her vehicle was found the next day 15 miles away on Route 55. It isn't clear how the vehicle got to Route 55. Police haven't yet said whether they believe Santiago moved it, possibly to cover up the alleged murders.
Early in the week, authorities asked the public for help finding the missing mother and baby, before offering a somber announcement Wednesday that Carrillo-Santiago had been arrested and charged.
"It is with deep sadness and regret that the Vineland Police Department announces the missing person investigation has now become a double homicide and recovery investigation," Vineland police said in an announcement Wednesday morning.
According to a 6ABC.com report, Carrillo-Santiago led police to the bodies.
Police haven't said how they identified Santiago, of Millville, as a suspect, only that a "collaborative joint investigation between the Vineland Police Department, New Jersey State Police and Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office has identified the accused."
After hearing the news of the alleged double-murders Wednesday, neighbors of Ramirez were struggling to comprehend how something so violent could happen right next door.
"This is a shock," said longtime Vineland resident Agnes Sanchez. "We generally don't have anything that happens here."
Fellow resident Rodney Reyes said the whole incident is horrible, but the death of a baby is "one of the worst things in the world."
"I have a 2-year-old, so it hit home," he said.
A woman who lives in the same building as Ramirez said she hadn't noticed any drama among the former couple.
Co-workers of Ramirez at a local pasta shop, though, were aware of tension between Ramirez and Santiago.
Authorities are asking anyone with information pertaining to the investigation to contact Vineland Police Criminal Division Main Extension 856-691-4111 ext. 4180 or the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office at 856-453-0486.