A Florida woman found dead on the side of the road was mistakenly targeted in a murder-for-hire plot sparked by a love triangle, police said.
A utility worker discovered the body of Janice Marie Zengotita-Torres Monday morning, a day after she was first reported missing by her family, My News 13 reported.
Osceola County Sheriff Russ Gibson during a news conference Friday told reporters the suspects intentionally targeted the 42-year-old Kissimmee resident because of a case of mistaken identity.
“I get emotional because it just touches me so deeply that one of our citizens was killed in such a manner over mistaken identity,” Osceola County Sheriff Russ Gibson said. “In the end it appears to be a lover’s triangle.”
According to investigators, Ishnar Marie Lopez-Ramos was looking to murder a woman who was involved with a man she also had romantic feelings for, according to Fox 35.
She decided to hire Alexis Ramos-Rivera and his girlfriend, Glorianmarie Quinones Montes, to kill the woman, but they mistook Zengotita-Torres for their target and abducted her instead.
Both women worked at the ROSS Dress for Less in Kissimmee.
The suspects followed the wrong woman out of the dark store and to her apartment where they “forcibly put the victim into the back of her own vehicle, and then drove away,” Gibson said.
The kidnappers then allegedly forced Zengotita-Torres to give them her ATM card and information so they could withdraw money from her account.
Detectives believe they did eventually realize they’d kidnapped the wrong person but “continued with their plan of murder and tied the victim with zip ties, and then her head in duct tape and garbage bags,” Gibson said.
Zengotita-Torres died of suffocation.
Ramos-Rivera and Montes continued to use Zengotita-Torres’ cards after they dumped her body, prompting authorities to stake out ATMs in the area.
Following a series of transactions, police nabbed Lopez-Ramos, who led them to the other two suspects in the case.
“All three confirmed this was a murder for hire and that the victim was mistakenly targeted and murdered,” the Sheriff said.
Ramos-Rivera, Montes and Lopez-Ramos have all been charged with first-degree murder.
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