TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A law enforcement source has confirmed to NEWS10 ABC that Johnny Oquendo has been charged in connection with the death of his 21-year-old stepdaughter.
Alkaramla, a restaurant hostess, was last seen the night of November 22, 2015when a co-worker dropped her off at Oquendo’s South Troy apartment.
Sunday night, News10ABC spoke with family members of Noel Alkaramla who did not want to go on camera. They said they are happy about the news and say that justice has been served but that this ultimately won’t bring her back.
Oquendo is now charged with murder, strangulation, and concealment of a human corpse.
He has been a suspect in the death of Noel Alkaramla. Before Saturday, he had been held only on a parole violation.
On New Year’s Eve in 2015, the 21-year-old’s body was found by New York State Police divers in a suitcase in the Hudson River. That was weeks after she was reported missing.
Timeline of Events
- November 22, 2015: Noel was last seen leaving Verdile’s Restaurant at the end of her shift.
- December 1, 2015: Search for Noel expands, police bring in the State Police Aviation Unit.
- December 4, 2015: Police begin searching the Hudson River. Reports of a suspect spotted near Riverfront with a suitcase then without it.
- December 6, 2015: Oquendo is taken into custody for a parole violation.
- December 8, 2015: Investigators conduct a suitcase test in the Hudson River.
- December 31, 2015: Noel’s body is found in a suitcase in the Hudson River.
- February 1, 2016: Oquendo is arrested for not registering his new address as a sex offender.
- August 5, 2016: DNA hearing for Oquendo is held in the Alkaramla case.
A source with intimate knowledge of the case told NEWS10 ABC her body was found intact without any obvious wounds and that she was completely naked.
According to witness statements, Oquendo’s neighbors heard an argument and saw him leave with a large suitcase, the night Alkaramla disappeared. Witness statements also say that about a week after her disappearance, Oquendo told a neighbor he needed a lawyer because he messed up.
New York State Police say they found DNA evidence on the victim that showed association with Oquendo’s profile in the convicted offender database. In August of this year, a judge granted the Rensselaer County DA’s request that Oquendo provide a DNA sample.
Court records show Oquendo has spent the past 18 years in and out of prison and jail on convictions of robbery and assault. He’s also a registered sex offender and earlier this year Colonie Police said he was charged with failing to report a change of address from Colonie to Troy.
When NEWS10 ABC contacted DA Joel Abelove, he said he was not permitted to confirm anything at this time in the case.
We also went to the Rensselaer County Correctional Facility, where a sergeant said they were not able to release any more information at this time other than that Oquendo was being held there.