Six men – including two from Newark and one from Montclair – have been arrested in connection with the shooting death of a Jersey City woman whose body was found in a vacant townhouse in Newark a week ago.
The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office and Newark Police announced the arrest of six men on Wednesday who were allegedly involved with the kidnapping and murder of Regina Baker, 29.
They were identified as: Omar Martin, 23, of Newark. Karon Adams, 23, of Irvington, Damon Zengotita, 36, of Hillside and Michelle Paden, 37, of Newark. All four were also charged with conspiracy to commit murder, felony murder, kidnapping, conspiracy to commit kidnapping and weapons offenses. Bail for all four of the defendants charged with murder was set at $1 million.
Two other suspects were charged with kidnapping and conspiracy to commit a kidnapping. They are Dabia Younger, 19, of Newark and Francheska DePena, 30, of Montclair.
Baker, the mother of five, is believed to have been abducted from Jersey City, shot multiple times, and left in an abandoned townhouse in Newark. Her body was found on June 19 several days after she was reported missing.
“This was a particularly vicious crime. It also serves to demonstrate the mobility of the criminal element of our society. I commend the outstanding investigative work put forth by personnel from the Jersey City Police Department, Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, Newark Police Department and Essex County Prosecutor’s Office,” said Jersey City Police Chief Thomas Comey.
“This investigation illustrates yet another collaborative effort between law enforcement agencies in dealing with cross-jurisdictional violent crimes,’’ said Hudson County Prosecutor Edward J. De Fazio.
he Jersey City Police Dept. and the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office were credited with assisting in the investigation and arrest of the suspects in the case, said Essex County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Thomas Fennelly.
Younger’s bail was set at $250,000. Bail for DePena was set at $300,000.
“The investigation is active and ongoing and it is possible that additional charges may be forthcoming,’’ Fennelly said. The cases will be prosecuted in Essex County.
Newark Police Director Samuel DeMaio stated, “I applaud the continued investigative work and collaborative efforts demonstrated by the investigators from the Newark Police Department, Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, Jersey City Police Department and the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office for the quick arrests of the individuals that perpetrated this heinous act.’’
“While our first priority was to arrest these dangerous and violent criminals, it was equally important to bring them to justice,” Director DeMaio added.
Adams, Paden, Zengotita and DePena are being housed in the Essex County Jail. Younger and Martin are in Hudson County.