On Friday, a community in Staten Island was in for a shock after a man was spotted wheeling around the body of a woman, identified as his wife, on a dolly down the street. The man is wanted by New York police. Heavily armed police descended on the Mariners Harbor neighborhood in the early morning, but they are still on the hunt for the man suspected of murder this morning.
The man has been identified as 31-year-old Anthony Lopez, and was allegedly seen rolling the body on the dolly at around 7:10 a.m., along 42 Post Lane in the Mariners Harbor section of Staten Island. The early morning hours were populated by parents sending their children off to school, putting kids on school buses, when someone spotted Lopez pushing a flat, rusty metal and wooden dolly down what was once a quiet one-way street with a suspicious looking rolled up and flattened blanket on top of it.
Anthony Lopez has been identified as a career criminal. In fact, when police responded to the scene, one of the officers said that he recognized the murder suspect immediately as someone he had arrested before. Unfortunately, once backup for the police officer had arrived and the murder suspect spotted them, he immediately dumped the dolly with the body and fled the area.
The New York Daily News reported that the abandoned dolly contained the topless body of Lopez’s 26-year-old wife, but police are refraining from naming the Staten Island resident at this time. Lopez’s career criminal status has been culminated through an extensive history with the police, which involves 52 previous arrests in total with 30 of them taking place within the last 16 years. The police said that the charges include criminal contempt, drug possession, robbery and obstruction. Lopez’s wife also had a criminal history and had been arrested 19 times in the past.
Emergency services were called to the neighbors’ house where Lopez had abandoned the dolly with his wife’s wrapped up body and fled; officials pronounced her dead on site. The body showed signs of extensive trauma and the investigation will require an official autopsy from the city’s Medical Examiner to determine the woman’s exact cause of death.
The murder suspect and his wife were said to have had a very complicated and tumultuous relationship. Police had visited their Staten Island home a number of times over the past few years.
The New York Police Department cordoned off Post Lane as they investigated the crime. Dozens of officials and detectives have been canvassing the Staten Island neighborhood since, speaking with the couple’s neighbors as yellow evidence markers mark the crime scene. A mobile crime scene canopy was also set up by the NYPD in front of the home where the murder suspect was last spotted. In the hunt for Lopez, the NYPD Fugitive Task Force expanded to search a burned out home and backyard a block way but no sign of the murder suspect could be found.
According to CBS New York, many of the neighbors expressed shock that such a violent crime occurred in their neighborhood and that the man had been brazen enough to use a dolly to transport her in the open. When knowledge of the man’s criminal history became known to them, some wondered why he had not been in jail and their fear that Lopez is still on the loose was expressed. One frightened neighbor, who declined to be identified, said that she saw the victim and her suspected murderer often.
“She would come outside, and I would see her a lot with bruises. She was very scared of him. He’s a very well-known crackhead and drug user, so when he used, I feel like it really added to his aggression.”
The police also stated that the suspect’s own brother received a call from him that morning confessing to the murder by allegedly saying “I killed her.”
The police are asking that anyone with information on Anthony Lopez’s whereabouts call the NYPD Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS, text tips to 274637 (CRIMES) and enter TIP577 or visit the Crime Stoppers website.
The murder of this woman is marked as the seventh homicide the precinct is dealing with this year, a marked surge and difference from 2015 when they had none.
[Photo Courtesy of NYPD]