QUEENS — A Jamaica man has been sentenced to 23 years in prison after strangling his 28-year-old girlfriend and burning her body in the bathtub more than a year ago, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown announced Wednesday.
Miriam Samayoa Veliz's remains were discovered on Oct. 17, 2015, about 4 a.m. inside her apartment on 90th Avenue, near 148th Street, officials said.
Her live-in boyfriend, Carlos Pineda, 27, was captured on surveillance video leaving the apartment building just after 3 a.m. that morning, and then seen returning approximately 20 minutes later with a red container commonly used to hold gasoline.
He then left the building again around 3:53 a.m., just before police received a 911 call.
Pineda was arrested in Miami several days later after investigators were able to find him by tracking his girlfriend’s phone, which he had with him.
“This was a truly heinous crime in which the defendant’s girlfriend was strangled and then had her body burned from head to toe in her own bathtub,” Brown said in a statement. “Given the extreme nature of the crime, the sentence imposed today is more than warranted.”
The couple, who had been dating for about 7 months, was planning to fly to Guatemala to take care of Samayoa Veliz's ailing mother on the same morning she was killed. Pineda was supposed to purchase the tickets, but he never did, police said at the time.
His girlfriend had already packed her bags for the trip when Pineda murdered her.
Pineda, who last December pleaded guilty to manslaughter, will be placed on five years post-release supervision after serving his sentence, the DA's office said.
His attorney did not immediately respond to a phone call seeking comment.