A Connecticut man was charged this weekend with the murder of his girlfriend, whose remains were found in a shallow grave earlier this year.
Lizzbeth Aleman-Popoca, 27, vanished over the summer. Her boyfriend Jonathan Jara-Aucapina, 27, claimed he learned that she’d vanished after he received a call at work from their 7-year-old daughter telling him that her mother was not home when she woke up, according to a July press release from the East Haven Police Department.
Police now say that was one of Jara-Aucapina fabricated stories. Aleman-Popoca’s remains were found buried in a shallow grave two weeks after she vanished behind a dumpster near the Branford restaurant where Jara-Aucapina worked. A coroner determined that she had died of asphyxiation.
After months of investigating, Jara-Aucapina was arrested Sunday and charged with Aleman-Popoca’s murder, Chief of Police Ed Lennon announced at a weekend press conference.
“Lizzbeth was a vibrant mother, daughter, and sister who leaves behind a 7-year-old daughter,” Lennon said during the press conference. “This daughter, in one act of domestic violence, will spend the rest of her life without her mother. This is not how any child should live and grow up.”
Investigators believe that Jara-Aucapina “concocted a story” that Aleman-Popoca ran away.
“He then used this story to lie to her family, her loved ones, and then eventually law enforcement when her family forced him to report her missing,” East Haven police Capt. Joseph Murgo said during the press conference.
The victim’s father, Albino Aleman Sedeño, spoke through a Spanish translator and said that he hopes for “true justice to be served at the end of this.”
It’s not clear if Jara-Aucapina has an attorney. He is being held on a $2 million bond.
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