A Florida man is accused of killing his wife and then leaving her body for her four children to discover when they woke up in the morning, authorities said.
The Orange County Sheriff's Office has arrested Nelonza Pugh, 29, and charged him with first-degree murder in the death of his wife, Brooke Jenkins-Pugh, 29.
Sheriff John Mina said Jenkins-Pugh was killed after a heated exchange between the pair in the early morning hours Wednesday.
At least one of the woman's four children, who range in age from 2 to 13 years old, reported hearing the couple arguing around 1 a.m.
"This morning when the children woke up, they found their mother deceased and immediately called 911," Mina said in a press conference Wednesday.
Pugh was the father to some of the children, said Mina who called the woman's death "another tragic incident of domestic violence in our community right before Christmas."
He declined to say how she was killed or provide details on what the couple may have been arguing about.
Pugh, who is currently on probation, has an extensive criminal history that includes pasts arrests for second-degree murder, cocaine trafficking, firearm possession, and fleeing and eluding, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Pugh was charged with second-degree murder after police said he was involved in a shooting near an Orlando nightclub in 2016, but the prosecutor later dropped the charges. He was wounded during the exchange, suffering injurires to the wrist and knee.
Despite his history, his most recent arrest came as a shock to Pastor Jake Stovall, who identified himself to WOFL as his uncle and said he'd raised him.
"This is a tragedy. No one saw this, no one saw this. When you see them together, you see love," he said. "Anyone that knows them, know that when they walked in the room, they lit up."
Stovall said Pugh loved his wife and family.
The children are now with the Florida Department of Children and Families, Mina said.
[Photo: Orange County Sheriff's Office]
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.