A Jersey City man is being held on $1 million bail in a New Jersey jail, a day after police found his wife’s remains in a cement-filled drum in the basement of their former apartment building, authorities said.
Steven Acuna, 38, faces murder charges after police discovered the remains of Randy "Amanda" Lehrer inside the 55-gallon drum Friday night, Hudson County Prosecutor Edward De Fazio told The Star-Ledger.
Lehrer, 32, was reported missing in August by her husband, who police say has refused to cooperate with the investigation.
He was arrested shortly after police found the drum Friday night, De Fazio told The Star-Ledger. Acuna was brought into the Hudson County jail in Kearny Friday night, where he is being held on the seven-figure bail amount, a jail officer told NBC New York.
The officer said he could not discuss the charges Acuna is being held on. And a Jersey City police spokesman was unavailable for comment Saturday night.
However, according to De Fazio, investigators believe the killing was "in the context of a domestic violence situation," The Star-Ledger reported.
Lehrer was last seen with Acuna outside the restaurant where she worked. Witnesses said the couple had an argument on the sidewalk.
"Her husband was waiting for her on the corner with their baby. He just left the kid and the stroller here and went chasing after her. I didn't see what happened but he came back, got the baby and left," said Paul Watroba, who spoke to NBC New York in August.
Lehrer's boss, Andreas Diakos, said Acuna called the restaurant three days after the argument to say she went to visit her sick mother in Canada, and would not be coming to work.
But Diakos said Lehrer's sister later told him their mother wasn't sick.
"He lied to me," Diakos said.