Friday, October 29, 2010
Duo executed at Queens cemetery
Like a scene from a gangster movie, a man and woman were found shot to death execution-style in the front seat of a car that was left parked and running outside a Queens cemetery yesterday, cops said.
The balding man, Lenny Archipolo, 47, was found still strapped into the driver's seat of the 1997 Chevy Lumina at 10:08 a.m. outside Linden Hill Cemetery in Ridgewood.
His girlfriend, Yomarya Santiago, 23, was slumped next to him in the passenger seat, leaning against the door with her hair flowing out of the open window.
Both had single gunshot wounds to the backs of their heads, police sources said.
"[They were] motionless. The man's head was turned on one side, kind of limp, ashy color, off-color," said Stephen Chee, 73, a retired nurse who lives nearby and made the 911 call to cops.
"The hair covered the woman's face. [She was] slumped to the left side," Chee said. "The guy was shot in the back of his head. The guy had blood on the front of his shirt . . . I'm shocked at the way they died."
A family friend said that Santiago's jealous ex-beau had threatened Archipolo over the relationship -- and that the ex was about to get out of jail.
Police sources said they were looking into the possibility that the slayings might have been part of a love triangle.
"He loved her. He would give her money all the time, buy her clothes, take her out to dinner," said Archipolo's friend Dominik DeRosa, who added that Santiago had a child by the man in prison.
Santiago's neighbor Emma Anderson said the young woman called Archipolo "her big fat teddy bear."
Sources said investigators also were eyeing a possible drug connection, given Archipolo's long rap sheet involving narcotics.
Cops said Santiago did not have a record.
The brutal murders shattered the peace of the quiet neighborhood
"I'm in shock. I can't believe it," said Mary Gervino, 78, a neighbor of Archipolo. "He was such a nice guy."
Cops differ with that assessment. Archipolo had eight prior arrests, including busts for rape, robbery and drugs.
"When you talked to him, he was charismatic," another neighbor said. "But he was not a nice guy. Leonard was always in trouble."
When police found the maroon car, which belongs to Archipolo's brother, it's engine was still running and the lights were on.
Cops last night were looking at a surveillance video from a camera on a home across from the cemetery.
Sources said investigators are treating the killings as a double homicide and not a murder suicide, mostly because no gun was found at the scene.