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Corona ATM entrepreneur, 25, shot dead

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According to witnesses, Elena Maria began to worry when her long-distance boyfriend, Edwin Perez did not answer his phone for a number of hours. In a panic, she got on a flight to New York to check on him. She arrived just in time to see her beau wrapped in a body bag, being carted off by personnel in the medical examiner's office. "She was really freaking out," said one witness who wished to remain nameless. "She was grabbing at the body bag." Perez's body was found by his father who was away for a few days visiting relatives in Brooklyn, according to witnesses. His father entered the apartment and found his son lying in a pool of blood on the floor of the apartment, witnesses said.One witness said Perez family members who had gathered outside of his apartment at 81-11 Petit Ave. on March 16 knew who the killer was from the moment they arrived. It was unclear how they made the connection. Robert Polanco, 25, of Reading, Pa.. was arrested two days after the shooting on March 18 and charged with the murder, according to the Queens district attorney's office. Polanco admitted to detectives that he pointed a loaded gun at Perez's head and fired two shots, killing him, according to a criminal complaint filled by the DA's office. Polanco has been charged with second-degree murder and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, the DA said.According to published reports, Perez owned an ATM business and kept large amounts of cash in a safe in his apartment, but police found money on Perez's body and have said the motive for the crime is unclear. No robbery charges had been filed by the DA's office.Reach reporter Peter A. Sutters Jr. by e-mail at news@timesladger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300 Ext. 173.

Posted 7:02 pm, October 10, 2011
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