- Two young men were found dead in a burning car in the Bronx seven months ago.
- The NYPD is offering a $10,000 reward for information on the suspects in the case.
- The double homicide may have been a retaliation for a previous assault and shooting.
It has been seven months since two young men were found deceased, with gunshot wounds, inside a car engulfed in flames in the Bronx. In an effort to bring the perpetrators to justice, the New York Police Department is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
The tragic incident occurred in mid-May when the bodies of Jesse Parrilla (22) and Nikki Huang (23) were discovered on Shore Road in the vicinity of Pelham Split Rock Course. The two were high school classmates and had remained close friends.
In July, the NYPD announced that Jahmel Sanders (30) and Steven Santiago (34) were suspects in the case.
According to Michelle Morales, Parrilla’s mother, cited by Pix11, her son was a student at Genessee Community College, worked as an Uber Eats driver, played basketball, and had aspirations of joining the NBA. She stated, “he wasn’t affiliated with gangs. He wasn’t into any of that stuff…Jesse was always on his career path.”
Huang’s family has also come to her defense, insisting that rumors linking her to the crime due to supposed gang affiliations are false. The young woman, who owns a beauty salon in Chinatown, was not the cause of the crime.
On the fateful morning of May 16, firefighters found Parrilla and Huang in the charred remains of a Honda Accord, which belonged to the young man’s mother. It is believed that they were abducted and then executed by the “Down the Hill” gang, a rival of the “Up the Hill” gang, with whom Huang is alleged to have had connections.
According to police sources, the chain of events leading to the double homicide began when Huang was assaulted on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Later that day, Brandon Atkinson (39) was shot in the head on Avenue D at E. Third St. It is unknown whether he was involved in the assault on Huang.
An hour later, in what is believed to have been a retaliatory attack, two young men were shot on Cherry St., near Pike St., in front of a luxury high-rise on the Lower East Side. It was then that Huang and Parilla were kidnapped and ultimately murdered, as reported by the Daily News.
Morales said, “She (Huang) needed a ride and called him (Parilla), but I don’t know how they ended up in The Bronx. He was home all day, and he was supposed to meet me. He didn’t show up, I called and called, but he didn’t pick up… He was shot twice. He was murdered.”
As the investigation continues, the police are requesting assistance from the public. If you have any information, please do not hesitate to contact the authorities at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or 1-888-57-PISTA (74782) for Spanish speakers. Alternatively, you may reach out via crimestoppers.nypdonline.org or by texting 274637 (CRIMES), followed by TIP577. All communications will be treated confidentially.