A New York man suspected in the presumed killing of his friend, who hasn't been heard from since he sent his mother a text for help, is expected to be charged with the missing man’s murder, according to reports.
Michael “Mikey” Stewart, 40, was last seen leaving O’Neill’s Traditional Irish Pub and then entering a nearby barbershop on Staten Island about 6:30 p.m., Dec. 20, 2018. Surveillance footage reportedly showed Stewart approaching and interacting with his friend, Angelo Nesimi, as he got his hair cut.
A day later, a text sent from Stewart’s phone to his mother reportedly read: “Please help me, Mom.”
Stewart, a 40-year-old father of two, has not been heard from since.
On Jan. 14, the NYPD said in a statement the probe into Stewart’s disappearance had become a homicide investigation.
Nesimi and girlfriend, Zammara Sanchez were previously questioned in the disappearance and suspected killing of Stewart. Sanchez allegedly said Nesimi had forced her to help him dispose of a body in New Jersey, according to the New York Post.
Nesimi, 33, was arrested Dec. 31 for allegedly attacking Sanchez. He pleaded not guilty in that case and remains jailed.
Nesimi is expected to be indicted Monday on charges connected to Stewart’s presumed death, including murder, manslaughter, tampering with evidence, concealment of a human corpse, assault with a weapon and cocaine possession, multiple news outlets including the New York Daily News and New York Post reported.
Nesimi’s attorney, Mario Gallucci, confirmed to the Staten Island Advance that his client will be charged Monday, but said the allegations are the result of “the musings of a jilted lover,” in reference to Sanchez’s alleged statements to police.
Nesimi denied having any involvement in Stewart’s disappearance, saying during a jailhouse interview with the Daily News that he was being framed.
“I didn’t do it, 100 percent,” he said. “They’re trying to pin it on me.”
Stewart’s body has not been found, but the Staten Island Advance reported investigators believe sanitation workers may have unwittingly transported it with trash to be incinerated.
Surveillance video reportedly showed Nesimi and Sanchez allegedly throwing trash into a dumpster in Perth Amboy, a source told the Advance.
NYPD and Pennsylvania state police were seen earlier this month searching a Pennsylvania landfill, where Stewart's remains may have been taken after being left in a New Jersey dumpster. The search was called off due to dangerous conditions, according to reports.
Stewart’s friends and family gathered Sunday at a mass held in his honor and later outside a home to create a makeshift memorial of candles, flowers and photos of Stewart. Also in attendance was Stewart’s 4-year-old daughter.
“She asks for him, asks why he’s not around,” Jaclyn Tantao, a lifelong friend, told the Advance. “The last thing she said was, ‘I think he’s playing hide-and-seek.’"