Illegal Migrant Suffocated Woman To Death On Her Birthday, Prosecutors Say

An illegal immigrant from Ecuador killed a woman on her birthday and then tried to hide her body in a local park, New York prosecutors are alleging.

Jhon Moises Chacaguasay-Ilbis, a 21-year-old national from Ecuador, turned himself into local police custody on Tuesday for allegedly suffocating a woman and burying her body in a Syracuse park, the Onondaga County District Attorney confirmed to the Post-Standard. Prosecutors added that Chacaguasay-Ilbis entered the United States last year when he surrendered himself to Border Patrol, and they suspect he is applying for asylum.

The Ecuadorian man traveled to Central New York on June 18 to meet the woman, Joselyn Jhoana Toaquiza, for her 21st birthday, whom he reportedly already knew because they previously attended school together in Ecuador, prosecutor Alphonse Williams stated to local media.

Surveillance footage shows Chacaguasay-Ilbis walking with Toaquiza into the Airbnb he was staying at on June 18, according to the Post-Standard. Three hours later, he is seen again, this time carrying Toaquiza on his back, who appeared to be completely limp in the footage.

He allegedly buried her body in Lincoln Park, which is situated in the North Side neighborhood of Syracuse, according to the Post-Standard. The owner of the Airbnb also told law enforcement that blood was found in the home.

Toaquiza was reported missing in the early morning hours of June 19 by her family, and her body was subsequently located in Lincoln Park on Saturday, according to the Post-Standard. Chacaguasay-Ilbis and Toaquiza were reportedly in a relationship at the time of the murder, according to another local outlet.

Chacaguasay-Ilbis is charged with murder and concealment of a corpse, according to records from the Onondaga County Justice Center jail. The facility also shows he is subject to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) hold and is being held with no bail.

Border Patrol agents apprehended Chacaguasay-Ilbis in January 2023 after he unlawfully crossed the border in El Paso, Texas, according to a Department of Homeland Security source that spoke with the New York Post. He was reportedly released into the country with a tracking device because there wasn’t enough space to hold him in custody.

The Ecuadorian man was arraigned in Syracuse City Court Thursday morning, according to a local report. Using a Spanish interpreter, he claimed he couldn’t recall anything about the incident because he was too intoxicated from alcohol at the time, and has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The incident in Syracuse is the latest in a string of high-profile crimes against women, allegedly at the hands of illegal immigrants. Such incidents include the strangulation killing of Jocelyn Nungaray in Houston last week, the rape and murder of a Maryland mother of five last year, the murder of Georgia nursing student Laken Riley and, in a recent incident close to Syracuse, the rape of a 15year-old girl in Albany.

Toaquiza was living with her uncle, Paul Toaquiza, and his family in Syracuse’s North Side neighborhood before she was killed, according to the Post-Standard. Paul said the family immigrated from Ecuador in search for better job opportunities.

ICE was not able to immediately confirm Chacaguasay-Ilbis’ immigration status when contacted by the Daily Caller News Foundation, and the Onondaga County District Attorney’s office didn’t immediately respond.


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