At a press conference held on Thursday, Atlantic County Prosecutor Ted Housel announced that a North Bergen man who went missing in Atlantic City was murdered.
Atlantic County Medical Examiner Dr. Hydow Park determined that Martin Cabellero, 47, of North Bergen, was allegedly killed by multiple stab wounds to the chest. Caballero’s body was found on a West Atlantic County farm on last Sunday.
Housel also announced that the additional charges had been made against his alleged captors Craig Arno, 44, of Atlantic City, and Jessica Kisby, 24, of Egg Harbor Township.
North Bergen resident Martin Caballero, 47, travelled to Atlantic City on May 21 to help celebrate his daughter’s 22nd birthday. After he dropped off his wife, he went to park his car in the Trump Taj Mahal Casino’s self-park lot, where Atlantic City Police said he was carjacked and kidnapped.
The duo was arrested last Friday at the Golden Key motel in the West Atlantic City section of Egg Harbor Township, the same place where four dead prostitutes were found outside in a drainage ditch in 2006.
“I want to say for the benefit of the public that according to the allegations, the alleged offenses were random in nature,” said Housel on Thursday. “However, this crime is not indicative of a pattern of crime in Atlantic City. It is one of those things that happens once in a generation or in a decade.”
Housel said that he had offered his condolences to the victim’s family and that he believed Caballero did not know his attackers.
Prosecutor brings forth new charges
Arno and Kisby, both of whom had been released from prison in the last three months, appeared in front of Judge Michael Donio at the Atlantic County Criminal Court this past Wednesday. Both pleaded not guilty for the carjacking and kidnapping charges brought against them. Kisby waived the reading of the charges against her, according to the Atlantic City Prosecutor’s Office.
On Thursday Housel announced the additional charges of murder, felony murder, and weapons offenses against the couple.
Arno was charged with arson and hindering apprehension for allegedly setting fire to Caballero’s vehicle in Gloucester Township. Days earlier he was also charged with robbery, aggravated, assault and unlawful possession of a weapon for a May 24 incident at a Pleasantville K-Mart shopping center, according to the prosecutor’s office. That incident took place four days before Caballero’s carjacking.
The couple’s bail was increased to $2 million, with no ten percent bail bond option.
Events leading up to Caballero’s disappearance
Kisby and Arno allegedly carjacked Caballero inside of the casino parking lot around 10:30 p.m. on May 21 when he parked his 2009 Lincoln MKS. Housel said that Arno and Kisby allegedly followed him in the parking lot in a silver Toyota before “approaching” him. Afterward, both cars left the garage.
Caballero’s family entered the lot 10 minutes after Caballero went to park, but could not find him.
Housel said that Arno allegedly used the victim’s ATM card at the Bank of America in Egg Harbor around 1:07 a.m., taking out $300. A few minutes later, the Caballero’s vehicle was spotted at an Exxon gas station in Pleasantville on the Black Horse Pike, where a female allegedly obtained a can of gas and a lighter.
Then, according to Housel, both cars traveled north to Gloucester Township, where Arno apparently suffered serious burns while allegedly lighting Caballero’s vehicle on fire. When Arno appeared in court, he had bandages covering some of the burns.
The car was found “engulfed in flames” around 2:30 a.m. behind the Democratic Club in Gloucester Township with no one inside.
According to published reports, Arno, who had a lengthy criminal history, was released from prison in New Jersey on March 29. A newspaper reported that as a condition of his release, he was supposed to get mental health counseling and was supposed to add himself to a casino self-exclusion list after his release, but did not do so.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that he had first gone to jail as a teenager after he was drag racing and got into a car accident that killed a nurse who was driving to her hospital job. Reportedly, his mother, who lives in Florida, had tried to help him start several businesses so he could stay out of trouble, but the businesses failed.
Other police news ‘Conrail Boyz’ member arrested again
A reputed leader of a group of young people who were indicted in 2003 for stealing items from local freight trains ran into legal trouble again this past weekend when he was pulled over in North Bergen for driving without a seatbelt – and seemed to confess to something more, police said.
According to North Bergen Police Lt. Edward Cannella, Edward Mongon, 35, of Hoboken was observed driving without his seatbelt by a patrol officer on May 30 at 8:49 p.m.
After the officer pulled Mongon over, he noticed the odor of alcohol from his breath and asked him to perform field sobriety tests, which Mongon was allegedly unable to complete, according to Cannella.
Cannella said, “He [allegedly] kept saying he only had five Coronas."
He was charged with driving while intoxicated and refusing a Breathalyzer.
Police confirmed that Mongon was the same man who has been alternately feared and praised as a smart criminal for his alleged role in a gang of more than two dozen people who learned the train schedules at Jersey City's Croxton Yards in the 1990s and allegedly began plundering Nike sneakers and electronics from the trains. The “Boyz” have even been documented in a TV special.
Prosecutors said the "Boyz" would jump onto the trains moving in and out of Croxton, use bolt cutters to open containers, toss them to other gang members, and take them away on trucks.
Mongon, who grew up in public housing in Hoboken, was sentenced to 13 years in prison in 2003. However, the North Bergen police said he was released on Jan. 22, 2008.
One tractor, two buyers
According to North Bergen Police, Sarina Reyes, 30, of Union City, was arrested last week for allegedly trying to sell one tractor to two people for $4,000.
Detective Bureau Commander Lt. Frank Cannella said that Reyes came into North Bergen police headquarters on the morning on May 27 with a male. She told police that she had sold the tractor to the man, but that when he went to pick it up from her, it had been stolen by someone else from the area of a motel in North Bergen.
However, when police looked into the matter, they determined that Reyes allegedly had obtained duplicate titles for the same tractor and allegedly had sold it to two different individuals at the same time, according to Cannella.
Cannella said that after paying her for the tractor, a buyer went to pick it up at a motel. But it was not there because another buyer had already picked it up from Reyes.
On the evening of May 27, she was charged with two counts of presenting false information on a state document, as well as being arrested for two failure-to-appear in court warrants from Jersey City and Union City.
Her bail was set at $30,000 with no 10 percent bail bond option. – Tricia Tirella Tricia Tirella may be reached at TriciaT@hudsonreporter.com.