A Long Island man has been charged with murder for allegedly strangling his estranged wife after learning that she was pregnant with his child — a child he “did not want,” according to police.
Michael Owen, 27, appeared in court on Wednesday, January 29, where he entered a not guilty plea to a second-degree murder charge, CBS New York reports. Owen, a former Marine, has been accused of murdering his estranged wife, 27-year-old nursing student Kelly Owens, on January 15, according to the outlet.
Kelly Owen was found strangled in a bed in her family’s home in South Farmingdale, according to another report from the local station. She lived in the home with her parents, brother, and 6-year-old daughter; her loved ones began to worry when she failed to show up for her daughter’s after-school program, prompting her parents to look for her. They found her unresponsive at home in her bed, and a medical examiner later ruled that her cause of death was criminal asphyxiation, the outlet reports.
Michael Owen was arrested on Wednesday in relation to the killing, the Nassau County Police Department announced this week.
Police say that Michael and Kelly Owen, who married in 2013 and had a daughter together soon after, separated in March 2018; later that year they were involved in an alleged domestic dispute that led to the police being called, but they continued to be involved in an intimate relationship, according to CBS New York.
However, Michael Owen had also moved on and was in a new relationship with a woman who he lived with. Authorities have theorized that Owen killed his estranged wife after learning that she was carrying his second child, the outlet reports.
“He did not want this child. He did not want to give her medical insurance. He had this new relationship he was involved in, and he was in a bad position,” Det. Lt. Stephen Fitzpatrick said.
Owen served as a Marine for eight years before he was honorably discharged, according to ABC 7. At the time of the murder, he had a job with a company that sets up cell phone towers.
During his arraignment on Wednesday, a judged ordered him held without bail, and to adhere to an order of protection preventing him from contacting his daughter, according to the New York Daily News.
He is due to next appear in court on January 31, NBC News reports.
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.