The remains of a slain New York City woman will be returned to her family in Texas, more than two years after authorities say she was killed by an upstate man she met at a Manhattan nightclub.
A relative of 25-year-old Laura Garza tells the Times Herald-Record of Middletown that her remains will be taken to a funeral home in Port Jervis for cremation later this week. Garza's ashes will be sent to her hometown of McAllen, Texas.
Garza's remains were found in a field outside Scranton, Pa., last April. Pennsylvania authorities issued a death certificate for the Brooklyn woman last week.
Investigators say Garza was last seen with 25-year-old Michael Mele, a registered sex offender from Wallkill in Orange County. He has been charged with murdering Garza and is being held in the county jail.
He has pleaded not guilty.