A New York City teacher helped set up her estranged husband with his new girlfriend about two years before the duo allegedly turned on the mother of three, murdering her and setting her body ablaze before dumping the charred remains at a storage facility, friends said.
The remains of Jeanine Cammarata were discovered at a facility in Staten Island’s Arden Heights neighborhood on Thursday -- five days after the 37-year-old was last seen alive. Cammarata’s husband, Michael Cammarata, 42, and his girlfriend, Kangi-Ayisha Egea, 41, were charged Friday with murder, concealment of a human corpse and tampering with physical evidence.
About two years before her death, Jeanine Cammarata introduced her husband to Egea, a mother of one of her students, in hopes of removing herself from her abusive marriage, the teacher’s longtime friend Jessica Pobega told the New York Daily News.
“Jeanine actually set up Mike and Ayisha because she wanted Mike to be occupied and leave her alone,” Pobega told the newspaper. “She [Jeanine Cammarata] actually introduced them in the hopes that Mike would stop stalking her.”
Michael Cammarata and Egea hit it off and, eventually, the new girlfriend moved into the couple’s home, Pobega said. Jose Perez, Jeanine Cammarata’s landlord, said he offered the mother of three a vacant apartment in his Staten Island building to help her out of the situation.
“She told me that Ayisha was babysitting their kids and then she found out that they were having a relationship," Perez told the New York Daily News. “She was trying to get rid of Mike. She thought if he kept busy with her [Egea], he wouldn’t be stalking her. But he continued stalking her.”
Perez said Cammarata suspected “something was up” about a week before her death, prompting her to update her will so her three children would be safe.
“She wanted her sister to keep the kids and she wanted to make sure her kids got everything,” Perez said. “...[Michael Cammarata] took her life, he took those kids’ mother away. [The children] deserve everything.”
Family and friends became worried about Cammarata after she failed to show up to work on Tuesday at Public School 29 and at her second job at a Dollar Store, police said. Cammarata was last seen at work on Friday and was scheduled to be off Monday for a custody hearing in court with her estranged husband.
Cammarata’s current boyfriend eventually reported her missing after failing to hear from her for a few days.