Martin Caballero was supposed to be celebrating with his family when he arrived in Atlantic City on May 21.
Instead, he became the random target of an Atlantic County couple who stabbed him to death and set his car on fire to cover the crime, new charges in an abduction case claim.
A body found on a Hamilton Township farm last weekend has been positively identified as Caballero, Atlantic County Prosecutor Ted Housel said Thursday. An autopsy shows multiple stab wounds to the chest.
The announcement came moments after Craig Arno and Jessica Kisby were given notice at the Atlantic County Jail that they are now charged with murder, felony murder and weapons offenses. Their bail has been increased to $2 million full cash each.
Arno, 44, of Atlantic City, and Kisby, 24, of Egg Harbor Township, were arrested last Friday on kidnapping and carjacking charges for allegedly taking Caballero and his car from the Trump Taj Mahal parking garage at about 10:30 p.m.
The 47-year-old Hudson County man had just dropped off family to celebrate his daughter Jessica’s 22nd birthday.
Housel would not say when or where Caballero was killed. He also said “we do know” the relationship between Arno and Kisby, but he would not comment on it. But he said that the pair did not know Caballero before the attack.
According to a timeline Housel previously provided, the couple left the garage with Caballero in two cars. One of them belonged to Caballero, the other to Arno’s grandmother.
Evidence then indicates they got onto the Atlantic City Expressway at about 11:20 p.m., then got off at Exit 12 near the Hamilton Mall at 11:36 p.m. They got back on a little more than an hour later. That is when, authorities said, they dumped Caballero’s body on a farm off Leipzig Avenue.
Their journey allegedly included a stop in Pleasantville for a lighter, accelerant and gas, and then in Egg Harbor Township, where $300 was withdrawn using Caballero’s ATM card at the Bank of America.
A detour in Gloucester Township, Camden County, ended with Caballero’s car engulfed in flames. The two have been charged there with aggravated arson and hindering apprehension in the torching of evidence.
Three days later, at about 9:15 p.m., May 24, a woman matching Kisby’s description tried to shoplift medical supplies from the Kmart in Pleasantville, but was caught by security. As she was being questioned, a knife-wielding man rushed to her defense, and helped her escape. On Wednesday, Arno was charged in that attack. On Thursday, Kisby was also charged.
“Don’t be overwhelmed by what the state’s going to come forward with until we have time to see all the evidence,” said defense attorney Steven Scheffler, who is representing Kisby. “I guarantee there’s absolutely another side to this story.”
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