Vanessa Pierre was only 29 years old and six months pregnant when she was strangled to death by her boyfriend.
A nearby surveillance camera recorded the boyfriend, Goey Charles, as he dragged her body out of the car onto the sidewalk, where he then left her with a pair of gray sweatpants tied around her neck.
Mr. Charles, 29, of Uniondale, was charged with murdering Ms. Pierre, after calling 911 on Monday to report her missing.
Mr. Charles told the operator that he had not seen Ms. Pierre in several days and was worried.
“At some point, while they were alone in that car, Mr. Charles strangled Ms. Pierre to death before dumping her body on the street,” Joseph Grasso, the prosecutor, said during the virtual court hearing.
Matt Thomas, Mr. Charles’s lawyer, said his client “maintains his innocence.” If convicted, Mr. Charles faces a sentence of up to 25 years to life in prison.
While investigators have yet to determine a motive for the killing, it was one of three domestic violence killings recorded in New York City in the past 10 days.
As of October 18, forty-five people had been killed in acts of domestic violence, compared with 56 by the same day last year, according to the most recent police statistics.
This year, the police have recorded about 10 percent fewer domestic violence crimes overall although, more victims have been shot.
The authorities as well as aid groups that work with victims say those decreases cover up the underreported issue that has likely worsened during the pandemic as many victims are more worried about trying to meet basic needs than stopping their abusers.
A retired state judge, Judy Harris Kluger, said two of the recent killings — of Ms. Pierre and another woman separated from her husband — revealed that victims are in the greatest danger when they are leaving and when they are pregnant.
To learn more about the signs of domestic abuse and how to get help, click here for the domestic abuse hotline.
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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