CALIFORNIA - A Brooklyn-raised Marine sergeant and his new bride were tortured and killed execution-style in their California home - allegedly by four other Marines under his command.
Sgt. Jan Pawel Pietrzak, who was raised in Bensonhurst, and his wife, Quiana, were found bound and gagged in the ransacked house, each shot in the head.
Pietrzak was the suspects' sergeant at Camp Pendleton, Quiana's mother said Wednesday.
"They're monsters," Faye Jenkins told the Daily News. "They're monsters."
Pietrzak's mother, Henryka Pietrzak-Varga, said she had prepared herself "for the possibility that my son could die in Iraq."
"But to die like this, in their own home?" she told The News. "They were good kids. They didn't deserve to die like this."
Investigators said the motive for murder was "financial gain." Neither mother believes that.
"When I found out what they did to them, it was like they killed me, too," Pietrzak-Varga said.
A spokesman for the Riverside County district attorney's office would not comment on reports that Pietrzak was killed by his own men.
Detectives also did not divulge what the accused Marines were looking for, but the suspects were tied to the crime by items found in their homes and on the military base.
Born in Poland, Pietrzak was 10 when he moved to the U.S. and enlisted after the 9/11 attacks. He was named Jan Pawel, which means John Paul, after the Polish pontiff.
A mechanic who worked on helicopters, Pietrzak, 24, met his wife three years ago at a party for Marines being deployed to Iraq.
Quiana Jenkins-Pietrzak, 26, who worked for the county's Black Infant Care Center, was reluctant to date a Marine. But Pietrzak wooed her, and they were married in August.
"They were in love," her mother-in-law said. "It didn't matter to them that they had different skin colors."
The bride wore her favorite white Converse sneakers, and she was still in the process of writing thank-you cards when she was killed.
"She was our only child and my best friend," Faye Jenkins said. "He was like my son. He was so proud to be a Marine. But when he was off the base, he was my son."
The Pietrzaks were not rich and purchased their five-bedroom home in May through a foreclosure, said Waldemar Piasecki, a New York-based Polish journalist and family friend. He used his reenlistment bonus to replace the hardwood floor and carpet.
"They were hardworking young people," Piasecki said.
On Oct. 15, deputies were dispatched to the Pietrzak home in Winchester, an exurb of San Diego, when the Marine did not show up for work.
When they arrived, the deputies found the Pietrzaks in the living room and evidence that the robbers had tried to cover their tracks by torching the house.
Charged with murder and other crimes are Pvt. Emrys John, 18, of Maryland; Lance Cpl. Tyrone Miller, 20, of North Carolina; Pvt. Kevin Darnell Cox, 20, of Tennessee, and Pvt. Kesuan Sykes, 21, of California.
Lawyers for the men could not be reached for comment.
Pietrzak's mother said she can't understand how Marines could have committed such a crime.
"Don't the Marines screen out people like this?" she said. "Didn't they know they had murderers under their roof?"
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