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Man arrested in gruesome double-murder of NYC nail salon owner and her friend

nikki huang jesse parilla
Nikki Huang via GoFundMe, Jesse Parilla via Genesee CC Athletics

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    A man has been arrested in connection with the brutal slaying of a New York nail salon owner and her friend in the Bronx around 10 months ago.

    Jahmel Sanders, 30, was identified as one of the suspects involved in the double-murder case, which came to light with the discovery of Nikki Huang and Jesse Parilla’s charred corpses in a burning vehicle near Split Rock Golf Course in the Bronx on May 16, 2022.

    The killings have been linked to a violent clash between two Lower East Side gangs.

    After finishing work at her family’s restaurant that night, Huang’s purse was stolen, and some people she reportedly knew from the “Up the Hill” gang allegedly took charge from there, police sources told PIX 11.

    Members allegedly shot someone from the rival “Down the Hill” gang at Avenue D and East Third Street. The victim, identified as Brandon Atkinson, was the half-brother of 34-year-old Steven Santiago, the other identified suspect in Huang and Parilla’s murders.

    JAHMEL SANDERS
    Jahmel Sanders. Image via New York Police Department

    Parilla, 22, was giving Huang, also 22, a ride in his mother’s Honda Accord as they attempted to recover her stolen purse, NBC New York reported.

    Then, at some point, the suspects fatally shot each of them in the head and set Parilla’s car on fire.

    According to police, four men were seen fleeing the scene in a white Fiat. They reportedly burned the Fiat and left it behind near the Major Deegan Expressway.

    Sanders was taken into custody by police after they located him at a Bronx homeless shelter on Tuesday.

    He is facing a slew of charges including murder, manslaughter, robbery, arson, kidnapping, grand larceny, criminal use of a firearm and criminal possession of a weapon.

    “I thought it would be happy news, but it doesn’t bring my daughter back,” Amy Chan, Huang’s mother, told the New York Daily News. “I am happy that we’re getting somewhere.”

    Meanwhile, police believe Parilla was only killed due to his friendship with Huang. His mother, Michelle Morales, said she is grateful for Sanders’ arrest.

    Steven Santiago. Image via New York Police Department

    “My family has been grieving, the pain has been unbearable. My son was a good citizen. He didn’t deserve what happened to him. He had nothing but a pure heart,” Morales told the New York Daily News.

    Santiago remains at large, and police are offering a $10,000 reward for his arrest. Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.


     

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