What to Know
- A man is facing murder and other charges in connection to a case of a missing Staten Island father.
- Michael Stewart, 40, was last seen on Dec. 20. Police haven't found his body
- His friend Angelo Nesimi is facing murder and other charges; A co-defendent, Nesimi's landlord, was also accused in the coverup
A man is facing murder and other charges in connection to a case of a missing Staten Island father.
Angelo Nesimi was charged Monday with murder in the second degree, manslaughter and other charges related to the alleged death and cover-up of his friend Michael Stewart.
Prosecutors said Stewart had been stabbed to death, and believe the cover-up was extensive.
During the court hearing, a co-defendant, William Formica, the landlord of the building Nesimi lived in, was presented. He’s accused in the cover-up.
Both Nesimi and Formica pleaded not guilty.
An army of @NYPD vehicles was spotted Monday afternoon at the Exxon station in #Morgantown. They were leaving from an investigation being conducted at the @RepublicService Conestoga Landfill. @PAStatePolice are also on the scene. pic.twitter.com/PmKvxYM8hH— Michael Yoder (@YoderReports) January 7, 2019
Stephanie Garcia, the mother of Stewart's 4-year-old daughter, said in court that their daughter cries for her father every day.
"He was a good father. Good person. I don't know what happened," she said.
Nesimi was held without bail, while the landlord can be released on $75,000 bail.
Attorneys say they haven't seen any evidence against the men and characterize the accusations as being part of a "jilted lover" scenario, saying Nesimi's ex-girlfriend was angry at him.
Nesimi's attorney, Mario Gallucci, foretold News 4 New York early Monday that he assumed his client would be charged with murder.
Formica's attorney, Matthew Santamauro, said his client "has no knowledge that anything even occurred in that apartment, if anything happened in that apartment."
Stewart, a 40-year-old father of two, was last seen on Dec. 20 and he sent a text message to his mother on Dec. 21, writing, "Please help me Mom," the New York Post reported.
Stewart was seen on surveillance video Dec. 20 horsing around with Nesimi inside a barbershop in Port Richmond. Nesimi was then arrested Dec. 31 in connection to a violent attack on his girlfriend, Zammara Sanchez, police told the Post. The couple was previously questioned in the suspected killing of Stewart, and Sanchez told detectives that her boyfriend "killed somebody -- and he made me go with him to get rid of the body in New Jersey," the Post reported, citing sources.
Investigators believe it's possible that Stewart's body was dumped in New Jersey, and that sanitation workers may have picked it up with the trash and it was incinerated, the Advance reported, citing a source. Another source said surveillance video shows Nesimi and Sanchez tossing what could be a body into a trash bin in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, before driving away in a Chrysler sedan.
Sources also told the Post that Stewart had a relationship with the couple: "It was a relationship between the three of them that ended with [Stewart] stabbed up," a police source told the Post.
Nesimi told the Daily News in a jailhouse interview this month, "I didn't do it, 100 percent. They're trying to pin it on me."
Both Stewart and Nesimi have criminal records. Nesimi claimed he knew Stewart only for the past few years and that they kept up with each other because they went to the same barbershop, but said they weren't close.
Stewart's body hasn't been found.