Woman Found Murdered in NYC Apartment After Confronting Squatters in Late Mother’s Home — Suspects Remain at Large

Credit: New York Post

A 52-year-old woman was found murdered and concealed in a duffel bag in her late mother’s Manhattan apartment, following a violent confrontation with squatters, NYPD officials reported on Thursday.

Nadia Vitel, the victim, had recently traveled from Spain and was preparing her mother’s vacant 19th-floor apartment on East 31st Street for a family friend to move into. Upon her arrival, she encountered two unauthorized occupants, a man, and a woman in their 20s, according to New York Post.

NYPD Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny informed the press, “We believe that some squatters took the apartment over and this woman came home … and walked in on the squatters that were there.”

A violent struggle ensued, during which Vitel was reportedly thrown against a sheetrock wall, according to ABC News. The assault left her with fatal injuries, including blunt force trauma to the head, multiple facial fractures, a brain hemorrhage, and two broken ribs.

Following the assault, the suspects absconded with Vitel’s Lexus, eventually crashing it near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

The NYPD was delayed in linking the car to the crime due to initial investigative oversights by Pennsylvania police.

The fugitives were last seen attempting to purchase a new vehicle from car dealerships for $1,000, but their current whereabouts remain unknown.

“As of right now, we have probable cause, we have two subjects, we have the Regional Fugitive Task Force actively hunting as we speak,” Kenny said.

New York Post reported:

The developments come after Vitel’s son, Michael Medvedev, 19, made the grim discovery of his mother’s body when he went to the apartment with the building’s super on the afternoon of March 14 after not hearing from her in 48 hours.

He knew she’d been at the apartment because they tracked each other’s locations via their cellphones, police said.

“As they’re getting ready to leave, the son opens up the closet door near the front door and discovers the duffel bag with a foot sticking out,” Kenny said.

It wasn’t immediately clear how long the perps had been squatting in the apartment before the victim found them inside, or how they even managed to gain access in the first place.

“The apartment itself is very unique in that there’s no front door to apartment. You take an elevator up and then you key your way in. The elevator is actually your front door,” Kenny said, adding “it’s an upscale apartment.”

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