A 32-year-old man is being held without bail for the strangulation death of his wife. Anthony Lopez was seen wheeling a body around Staten Island on Friday morning at 7 a.m. by an off-duty detective. The corpse was covered with a sheet and was later identified as Aduba Obiamaka, Lopez’s 26-year-old wife. When the detective tried to question him, Anthony fled from the scene. Lopez pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and concealing a human corpse during his arraignment on Sunday.
— Chief Robert Boyce (@NYPDDetectives) May 20, 2016
According to MSN, police say that Anthony killed his wife and then wheeled her body around before dumping it in front of a Staten Island home. District Attorney Michael McMahon believes that domestic violence was a contributing factor in Obiamaka’s death.
Lopez was arrested on Saturday in Manhattan after a foot chase. He had been on the run since Friday morning when the detective spotted him. At some point during the chase, he cut off his dreadlocks and shaved his head in an apparent attempt to shield his identity.
FOX News writes that his location was discovered due to a tip.
The criminal tried to hide in East Harlem at the home of an aunt who refused to allow him to stay there. Police apprehended him at First Avenue and 113th Street.
The suspect has an extensive criminal record that shows more than 50 arrests related to drugs and violent crimes. Sources also reveal that his wife had been arrested 19 times for various offenses.
— Michael George (@mgeorge4NY) May 22, 2016
According to the New York Daily News, Lopez and Obiamaka’s relationship was an abusive one. Sources say that he beat her so viciously in the past that he broke her bones. He also forced her to work as a prostitute. Obiamaka’s body, when found, showed clear signs of abuse evidenced by bruises, and there were strangulation marks around her neck.
Pix 11 speculates that drugs were a factor in the murder as neighbors identified him as a “crackhead” who had psychiatric issues.
Neighbor Supreme Coleman commented on Lopez.
“He was smoking that why it was due to drugs. He’s been crazy, he’s mentally disturbed.”
Neighbors also say that police were frequent visitors to the home.
It is reported that Obiamaka’s mother tried to keep in contact with her daughter, but police say that Lopez prevented that.
“Every time her mother would buy her a new phone, he would take it and sell it.”
The New York Daily News offered even more details on the crime. When first spotted wheeling his wife’s topless corpse on a wood and metal dolly, a neighbor called an NYPD detective friend. He was first seen on Post Lane near Richmond Terrace in the Mariners Harbor area. Apparently the detective recognized him because he had arrested him on a prior occasion, and he called for backup to assist him in detaining Lopez.
Police also say that the accused murderer is a member of the Bloods and that he called his brother on Friday morning and told him that he had killed his wife.
Supreme Coleman described the scene that he witnessed after a police detective woke him with a knock on his door.
“The cart was in front. The body was kind of like half off the cart.
“There was a big back bag, like a suitcase, a rope, and a blanket with blood on it on the cart. It looked like… he was trying to camouflage it or something.”
Coleman also said that Lopez frequently abused his wife, always hitting her, and that she used to always have some kind of lumps or bumps visible on her body.
Another neighbor, Cherise Taylor, got a glimpse of the body as she was taking her children to school after Lopez ran away.
“I saw the body on the lawn. She was half naked. She didn’t have a top. She was wearing pants. She was wrapped in an old curtain or something.”
Taylor also commented that Lopez was well known in the area as a crackhead and that a lot of the residents in her community are in shock, frantic, and fearful.
NYPD on St. Island looking for Anthony Lopez, 21. Last seen pushing metal dolly with the body of a dead woman on it pic.twitter.com/jypcdV9cVE
— Carol D'Auria (@CarolDAuria) May 20, 2016
[Image via Twitter]