Man, 23, 'shoots dead partner, 40, and friend over girls' trip'

Nadine Carroll
·3-min read

A corrections officer is facing two counts of murder over the alleged shooting deaths of his girlfriend and her best friend.

John Menendez, 23, a corrections officer from New Jersey, is charged with shooting girlfriend Anna Shpilberg, 40, and her best friend, Luiza Shinkarevskaya, after he became furious his partner had gone on a holiday with her five female friends, according to local news outlet NJ Advance Media.

Menendez reportedly picked up both women from Newark Airport after their holiday in Cancun on February 16 when investigators say he drove to an off-airport car park where he shot Ms Shinkarevskaya, also 40, in the head and left her bleeding on the side of the road.

Left is a mugshot of John Menendez. Pictured on the right are Luiza Shinkarevskaya and Anna Shpilberg wearing hats.
John Menendez (left in a mugshot) is accused of shooting both his girlfriend, Anna Shpilberg (far right), and her friend, Luiza Shinkarevskaya (pictured left in photo on the right). Source: Essex County Jail/Facebook

He then drove to Newark Penn Station where Ms Shpilberg was found fatally shot in the head in the passenger seat of her car with a handgun near her body, NJ Advance Media reported.

A short time later a bloodied Menendez then walked to police officers near the car and confessed to murdering both women.

"I killed both of them, just arrest me, bro," police said Menendez told them, according to an affidavit obtained by the New York Post.

Luiza Shinkarevskaya is pictured.
Luiza Shinkarevskaya (pictured), 40, was found shot after returning from a holiday with her friend. Source: GoFundMe

During a police interview Menendez allegedly confessed to the murders again and told investigators his motive.

“Both women had just been on vacation and Menendez said that Anna had been ignoring his calls,” police wrote in court records.

“He said he lost it and killed them.”

Ms Shinkarevskaya’s cousin Mishel Chan-Min told NJ Advance Media on Tuesday Menendez was controlling and “furious and he was upset” his girlfriend had gone on vacation without him.

“He was always with her, he was always calling,” the cousin said.

“I don’t think Luiza and her even got to go out without him. He was always there. Any step that she took, he was there. So I was just surprised that she went without him.”

A photo of Anna Shpilberg (right) and her son, Daniel Knigin (left).
Anna Shpilberg (right), pictured with son Daniel Knigin (left), was allegedly shot by her boyfriend. Source: GoFundMe

A GoFundMe page was set up by friend Roman Khodik on behalf of the cousin to help pay for Ms Shinkarevskaya's funeral.

“We shall choose to remember Luiza as she was: a youthful, exuberant woman with all the love in the world to give to all who knew her,” the page reads.

Ms Shpilberg leaves behind her 15-year-old son, Daniel Knigin. A GoFundMe page has been organised to help pay for his college expenses.

“Words cannot accurately describe Daniel's grief right now,” the page that had raised almost $50,000 (A$64,000) at the time of writing reads.

Menendez remains in custody pending a detention hearing on March 2.

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