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Cyrus R. Vance, Jr.

District Attorney, New York County

For Immediate Release
November 18, 2016

DA VANCE: MIGUEL ABARENTOS EXTRADITED FROM PHILIPPINES AND CHARGED FOR MURDER OF HIS 87-YEAR-OLD EMPLOYER

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the indictment of MIGUEL ABARENTOS, 29, for the 2012 murder of his elderly employer inside the victim’s Murray Hill apartment. The defendant is charged in a New York State Supreme Court indictment with Murder in the Second Degree.[1]

“Miguel Abarentos is accused of brutally murdering his 87-year-old employer, and fleeing to Southeast Asia in a failed attempt to evade accountability,” said District Attorney Vance. “I thank my Office’s prosecutors for working doggedly for nearly four years to ensure that he faces justice, and hope that his extradition and prosecution brings a measure of comfort to the victim’s family.”

According to the indictment and statements made on the record in court, ABARENTOS was employed by Thawerdas Sadhwani, an 87-year-old man, beginning in October 2012. ABARENTOS was initially hired to work for the victim’s business, but occasionally assisted the victim on the weekends with errands and household tasks. On December 15, 2012, ABARENTOS crushed the victim’s neck and beat him with a ceramic lamp, killing him, inside his home on East 36th Street in Murray Hill. 

Later that day, ABARENTOS went to an internet café in Queens. While inside the café, he sent a Facebook message to a friend stating that he had just killed someone and needed to go home. The next day, ABARENTOS boarded a flight to the Philippines at John F. Kennedy International Airport. On the following morning, the victim’s housekeeper was unable to enter his apartment and called building staff, who unlocked the door and discovered Sadhwani’s body.

On June 20, 2016, ABARENTOS was arrested in Makati, Philippines, and extradited to the United States. 

Assistant District Attorney Maxine Rosenthal, Senior Trial Counsel, is handling the prosecution of the case, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Lanita Hobbs, Chief of Trial Bureau 80, and Executive Assistant District Attorney John Irwin, Chief of the Trial Division. Former Director of Media Services Michael Mannion assisted with the case. 
 
District Attorney Vance thanked the Department of Justice, specifically Attaché Donald D. Ashley, and members of the NYPD, including Detective Annamarie Bernagozzi of the Detective Bureau Central Investigation Division, and Detective Jose Flores of the Manhattan South Homicide Squad.

[1] The charge contained in the indictment is merely an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. All factual recitations are derived from documents filed in court and statements made on the record in court.

Defendant Information:

MIGUEL ABARENTOS, D.O.B 7/21/1987
Makati, Philippines 

Charges: 

  • Murder in the Second Degree, a class A felony, one count