An Allentown man charged with killing 20-year-old Whitehall resident in Salisbury Township, told police he had gotten into an argument with Cardona and cut her neck with a knife, according to an arrest affidavit.
Jonathan Nunez, 20, of 253 E. Fairview St., was charged Thursday with homicide and later arraigned before of South Whitehall. The arraignment was brief, about two minutes, and done remotely from Hammond's office.
Nunez, who appeared on video camera from Lehigh County Central Booking, said few words, only "yes, sir" when asked if he understood the proceedings. He was dressed in a long-sleeved white shirt and light pants, his hair cut short.
Hammond did not set bail in the case.
According to the arrest affidavit, Nunez told police in an interview Thursday at the Salisbury police station:
- He and Cardona drove to Lanze Lane on the evening of July 4 and parked the car. While there, he got into an argument with her.
- He assaulted Cardona, then cut her neck with a knife.
- He drove his car from the area, but later returned and poured bleach on her body.
The affidavit does not indicate what triggered the argument between the two.
Cardona's body had been found by the evening of July 5 in the 2700 block of Lanze Lane. When police arrived at 8:33 p.m., they saw her "badly beaten body," which was about 15 feet from the road, the affidavit said.
Also, according to the affidavit:
- Cardona had injuries to her head, face, neck, hands, legs and torso.
- A strong odor of bleach had emanated from the victim’s body, and detectives had noticed her clothing appeared to be discolored.
- Police found a pair of broken glasses on the road nearby and saw numerous broken branches in foliage surrounding her body.
Cardona, 20, of Whitehall Township had been according to her family. An autopsy by the Lehigh County Coroner's office revealed she died sometime after 7 p.m. July 4 of blunt and sharp trauma. According to the arrest affidavit, the wounds on her hands and arms were believed to have been "defensive wounds."
told the Morning Call she didn't have a boyfriend, and that some of her past relationships had ended badly.
A release from the Lehigh County District Attorney's Office said Salisbury police, Allentown police, the Lehigh County Homicide Task Force and Pennsylvania State Police worked together to make the arrest.
According to court records, Nunez was charged with a Fountain Hill theft and other offenses Feb. 14, and later was accepted into the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program for first-time offenders.
An arrest does not indicate a conviction.