SALEM, Mass. (TCD) -- A 33-year-old man was arrested this week for allegedly killing the mother of his children, whose body still has not been found.
In a statement, the Essex County District Attorney’s Office announced Pablo Vicente was taken into custody Tuesday, Aug. 8, on suspicion of killing 20-year-old Nayeli Nieves. The day prior, the Salem Police Department learned Nieves "had been harmed" and concluded foul play was involved in her disappearance.
Vicente was arraigned Aug. 8 in Salem District Court, and Boston.com reports he pleaded not guilty to one count of murder. Investigators were still searching for her body Tuesday.
The police report cited by Boston.com reportedly says Vicente told officers he choked Nieves to death in front of their 3-year-old and 9-month-old children, then disposed of her body in a nearby dumpster. A Lynn Police Department detective reportedly searched the dumpster Vicente mentioned but did not find any evidence of Nieves' body.
While speaking with police, Vicente reportedly admitted to getting in a fight with Nieves after initially claiming she ran away with another man. He allegedly thought he was cheating on her and continued to choke her. She lost consciousness three times and did not regain consciousness after the last.
Vicente allegedly kept Nieves' body in their apartment for about three days before he claimed he put her body in sheets and disposed of her in the dumpster. He said he "wanted to spend more time with his children," which is why he allegedly did not contact police following her death.
Boston.com reports Salem Police Department Chief Lucas Miller said in a press conference after the arraignment they are "actively searching" for Nieves and "found what I would call evidence, but I don’t want to say whether that is her."
In April, Nieves was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence against Nieves.