Murdered Woman Found in Duffel Bag: Suspects in Custody after 185-Mile Chase from Manhattan

New York City – Authorities have apprehended two suspects in connection with the horrifying murder of a woman whose body was discovered concealed in a duffel bag within a Manhattan apartment. Halley Tejada, 19, and Kensly Alston, 18, were taken into custody in York, Pennsylvania, approximately 185 miles away from where the crime took place.

The U.S. Marshals have identified Tejada and Alston as persons of interest in the fatal beating of 52-year-old Nadia Vitels. Tejada hails from Washington Heights, while Alston is from the Bronx, according to sources within the New York Police Department.

Vitels’ lifeless body was found in a duffel bag inside a closet of a 19th-floor apartment on 31st Street in Manhattan’s Kips Bay neighborhood back on March 14. The medical examiner has classified her demise as a homicide resulting from blunt force trauma to the head. It was Vitels’ son who made the grim discovery after becoming concerned when he was unable to reach her.

Allegations suggest that Tejada and Alston were squatting in the apartment when Vitels unexpectedly showed up, intending to either move in herself or help someone else relocate. Surveillance footage indicates the two suspects were seen within the building and later absconding with Vitels’ car from the street where it was parked.

The stolen vehicle was traced to New Jersey and subsequently Pennsylvania, where it was involved in an accident on March 13. Alston, purportedly driving Vitels’ Lexus at the time, initially provided authorities with a fake name during the crash response.

Both suspects were pursued by the Joint Fugitive Task Force, leading to their apprehension in Pennsylvania. Tejada had a prior arrest record for vandalizing property, while Alston had a history of assault offenses dating back to his juvenile years.

The building’s superintendent acknowledged rumors of potential squatters but denied any knowledge of unauthorized occupants in the apartment. The layout of the building, with individual key systems for each unit, raises questions about how Tejada and Alston gained access to the premises where Vitels met her tragic end.

Vitels, who had traveled from Spain to Manhattan to ready the apartment for occupation after her mother’s passing, was seen on surveillance entering and exiting the apartment prior to the heinous crime. Sources indicate that the suspects, who had unlawfully taken up residence in the vacant unit, returned in Vitels’ absence and confronted her, resulting in her fatal assault.

At her recent funeral, Vitels’ son fondly remembered her adventurous spirit and zest for life, sharing her plans to settle in New York City and focus on personal endeavors. The tragic loss of this vibrant woman serves as a stark reminder of the dangers she encountered at the hands of strangers.