A former police officer strangled his wife, carried her dead body to his car and dumped it in the woods in suburban New York, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Video surveillance, forensic evidence and statements from the former officer, Eddy Coello, implicate him in his wife's death March 11, said Bronx Assistant District Attorney Edward Talty.
Coello, 38, was arraigned in Bronx Criminal Court on Wednesday night on a second-degree murder charge and was held without bail in protective custody. His next scheduled court appearance is Monday.
"He is an ex-police officer that has been out in the media since the inception of this matter and I believe that it's in his best interest that he be in protective custody," said his attorney, Renee Hill.
She said she could not discuss any of the facts of the case but said they would "proceed forward in court" and wait for more documentation to come through.
Tina Adovasio, 40, a nurse and mother of four, disappeared on March 11 and was found five days later north of their tidy Throgs Neck home, in the woods near the Taconic State Parkway in Yorktown. The New York Police Department said Adovasio died of asphyxiation, and had also suffered blunt trauma to the head and chest.
The couple's lengthy relationship had a history of domestic violence. There was at least one order of protection against Coello from 2007, police said. Adovasio had been seeking to separate and had filed another restraining order against Coello, but didn't yet serve him the papers, according to her attorney.
The couple had a 5-year-old daughter together. Adovasio had three other children ages 17, 15 and 11 from a previous marriage.
Coello is a physician's assistant and was a New York Police Department officer for four years. He resigned from the force in 2000 amid a domestic violence investigation involving a former wife.
He did not attend the funeral Tuesday, which was held on the same day he was arrested. The funeral, in suburban Mahopac, was packed with mourners, and the priest overseeing the service spoke of Adovasio as a caring, loving mother.