Following an evening of celebration with friends in November 2020, 26-year-old Destini Smothers went missing in the Woodside neighborhood. Four months later, her body was discovered in Queens, New York, riddled with injuries and hidden in the trunk of a car.
In a dramatic discovery, a tow truck operator found the body while removing an abandoned Toyota Camry from the intersection of 134th Avenue and 151st Place in the South Jamaica neighborhood on March 10, 2021. The vehicle was reportedly owned by Kareem Flake, as per police sources.
Flake, 31, was later arrested in Florida’s Osceola County on April 9, 2022, on charges of involuntary manslaughter. Subsequently, he was extradited to New York. Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced, as cited by Patch.com that Flake could face up to 22 years in prison, with the sentence due on Sept. 28.
The autopsy performed by the New York City medical examiner revealed that Smothers died from a gunshot wound to the head. She was last seen alive in a car with Flake after her birthday celebration. Five days later, she was reported missing. The prosecutor, while recounting the events, couldn’t shed light on a clear motive for the crime. Smothers, a mother of two young children, resided in Troy, NY, near Albany.
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In a tragically similar case that happened last month, 23-year-old Evelin Barajas Perez was found dead in her Staten Island home. She had suffered fatal stab wounds following an altercation with her boyfriend.
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