Police: Two Men Admit to Murdering Woman Found Dead at Seaport

NYPD vehicle outside vacant New Market Building on Sunday as cops investigated the death of woman whose body was found on Saturday in the building. Photo: Carl Glassman/Tribeca Trib

Mar. 07, 2021

Updated 3/9/21

Two homeless men are charged in the gruesome murder of a 19-year-old woman whose body, police say, was found wrapped in plastic Saturday morning at 9:10 a.m. in the New Market Building, a vacant and decrepit former fish market building in the South Street Seaport.

A Maryland woman, who allegedly admitted to wrapping the body, is charged with concealment of a human corpse, tampering with physical evidence and hindering prosecution.

Police say the murder suspects, Christian Mercado, 20, and Austin Boehm, 25, admitted killing Rosalee Sanchez, who also was homeless. According to the criminal complaint, Boehm told police that he stabbed and struck the victim many times and Mercado admitted to hitting her with a shovel, and strangling her with a rope. A knife, metal pipe, shovel and rope were all found near Sanchez's body, according to the complaint. Authorities say an autopsy revealed multiple stab wounds, head traumas to the body, and death from "blunt force trauma to the head."

Authorities says that Amber Wilson, 35, of Cumberland, Md., admitted to trying to hide the body. According to the criminal complaint, she told police: "I was there and Austin and the Beast told me to wrap up her body with the tape and the plastic. I put tape on her and then she was covered in plastic and then I put a metal sheet over her body.

The New York Post quoted the victim's mother, Iris Garcia, as saying her daughter had a learning disability and suffered from anxiety and depression and left her Newark home at age 18. "Every time she used to talk to me I said, 'Come back [home]' and she said, Mommy, I'm OK, I'm with my friends," she told the Post, adding that "she trusted everybody."

Adam Freedman, the public defender representing Mercado and Boehm, did not respond to a request for comment. They are next due in court on March 12. Wilson's next appearance is May 18. Her attorney, Frank Lomuscio, declined to comment.

The city-owned New Market Building, vacant since the Fulton Fish Market moved to the Bronx in 2005, has been slated for demolition since 2008 and is said to house an encampment of homeless people.