A suspect has been arrested in the death of a 29-year-old pregnant woman from Long Island who was found face down on the sidewalk off Horace Harding Expressway in Queens last week, NYPD officials said Tuesday.
Vanessa Pierre was already dead when investigators got to the scene Friday; chilling surveillance video shows a man drag her lifeless body from the passenger side of the vehicle the owned and leave it on the ground next to the highway, officials said.
It wasn't clear when Pierre, of Hempstead, died, but police said she had been strangled; her unborn baby girl also died.
NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison identified the suspect as 29-year-old Goey Charles in a tweet on Tuesday. He said NYPD detectives along with the Regional Fugitive Task Force and Nassau County police assisted in apprehending Charles on Monday, though didn't provide more details on the circumstances.
Charles, from Uniondale on Long Island, has been charged with second-degree murder — and the victim's family questioned why it was not first-degree murder. Officials said he was the father of Pierre's unborn daughter.
"She fell in love with the wrong man. She got killed for that," said a family member. "We need the system to work for her. To give that guy what he deserves."
Friends of Pierre put up memorials for the 29-year-old nurse on a nearby overpass. Those who knew her said they had a feeling something was wrong with Charles, who controlled every part of Pierre's life, they said.
"She has 10-15 best friends, and didn't talk to not one of them before she passed away because this man did want her to communicate with anybody," one friend said. "He slept in his car. He wanted her, a 6-month-pregant woman to sleep in a car. Like, what kind of person does that?"
No additional information on him or his connection to Pierre was immediately available. It also wasn't clear if he had retained an attorney.