ALBUQUERQUE – Two traveling salesmen robbed an elderly Albuquerque couple before beating and suffocating the wife and stomping on the husband's head, according to criminal complaints.
Michael Lee, 21, who was born in Boston, and Travis Rowley, 23, a native of Glendora, Calif., have been charged with two open counts of murder and tampering with evidence in the killings.
Korean immigrants Tak Yi, 79, and his 69-year-old wife, Pung Yi, were killed in their home Tuesday.
Lee and Rowley worked for IntegrityPGM, a Las Vegas, Nev.-based company that contracts young people to sell magazine and book subscriptions nationwide.
The two men, who were booked as transients, arrived in Albuquerque Dec. 2 with about 15 salesmen, who have since left town. They are being held on a $2 million bond.
Family members told investigators that jewelry, several cameras and credit cards were missing from the home, the complaints showed.
According to the criminal complaints, Rowley and Lee were dropped off in the Yis' neighborhood to sell the subscriptions when they saw Tak Yi working in his backyard. Rowley told police that Lee said he was going to "steal an item from the home."
Lee allegedly punched an elderly woman who fell to the floor, and Rowley reportedly dragged her into the home. Then Tak Yi entered the home and tried to call police, Rowley told police.
After punching the man twice, Rowley said Lee suffocated the woman and then walked over to the man and stomped his foot on his head, the complaint said. Rowley said he believed the "blow was fatal."