A NJ woman who was reported missing earlier this week was found dead after she was allegedly buried alive by her landscaper. Fatima Perez, 41, was reported missing on Monday; her body was found on Wednesday 20 miles away from her home in Camden. And according to reports, her landscaper Carlos Alicea-Antonetti and one of his employees, Ramon Ortiz, confessed to investigators that they buried her alive.
Authorities say Perez was carrying $8,000 with her when she disappeared on Monday, and had told her family she was using the cash to buy a new car. The family believed she was with Alicea-Antonetti, a landscaper the family knows who had allegedly offered to take her to a dealership to buy the car.
According to authorities’ probable cause statement, Alicea-Antonetti gave the following account to detectives:
He picked up Perez that morning in a van near her home to take her to buy the vehicle. They began arguing, and Perez fell out of the van, injuring herself. But she got back into the vehicle.
Alicea-Antonetti then picked up Ortiz while the victim lay in the back of the van. Both men tied her up and eventually placed duct tape over her mouth and eyes.
They drove southbound to a wooded area, where Ortiz began to dig a hole. The men put Perez in the hole, alive, poured lime on her and buried her. They tried to camouflage the grave with branches and debris.
Police add that Ortiz gave the following statement on the killing:
Alicea-Antonetti picked him up at 1115 North 23rd Street in Camden, where Ortiz was cutting grass. He entered the van but did not realize at first that Perez was in the back because she was tied up and lying on the floor.
He noticed her only when she began to make a noise. She asked Ortiz to help her. But Alicea-Antonetti drove southbound, down Route 42 to the Black Horse Pike.
At some point, Alicea-Antonetti pulled off the roadway. Ortiz took a shovel from the van and dug the grave, as his boss directed him. Alive, Perez was covered with lime and buried.
Ortiz took investigators to the site, where they discovered that Perez's mouth and eyes were covered with duct tape before she was buried. She died of asphyxiation, according to the coroner's report. Alicea-Antonetti reportedly had more than $7,000 in cash on him when he was arrested.