Two plead guilty in 2010 South Jersey killing

Posted: July 15, 2013

Almost three years after they allegedly kidnapped and killed a 23-year-old Camden County man and then fled to Florida, the Bahamas, and Cuba, two former Voorhees residents have pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the September 2010 homicide.

Diane Camacho, 28, pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy to commit murder and agreed to testify against Denis A. Catania, 51, who pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter the next day.

Damien M. Leo, 38, had pleaded guilty in May 2012 to manslaughter and agreed to testify against Camacho and Catania.

The three were charged in the killing of Ross Heimlich, of Somerdale, who was 23 when reported missing from Voorhees for about a day. On Sept. 29, 2010, his body was found charred beyond recognition in a car fire on the 100 block of Linda Avenue in Hammonton.

Forensic investigation revealed, several weeks later, that the body was Heimlich's.

Leo was arrested Aug. 11, 2011, in Philadelphia. Catania and Camacho fled to Florida, the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office said in a news release issued Saturday.

The two fugitives then traveled to several Caribbean nations, the prosecutor's office said, including the Bahamas, before being deported from Cuba because they had entered the country with false documents.

They were taken into custody Sept. 28, 2011, by deputies from the U.S. Marshals Service and detectives from the prosecutor's office.

All three defendants are scheduled for sentencing Aug. 22 in Atlantic County Superior Court.


Contact Jonathan Lai at 856-779-3220, jlai@phillynews.com, or on Twitter @elaijuh.

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