Man Convicted of Smothering Teenage Brooklyn Girl, Setting Body on Fire

A 22-year-old Maine man was convicted Tuesday of smothering a 14-year-old girl then setting her body on fire on a Brooklyn beach early last year because he thought she was pregnant, prosecutors say.

Christian Ferdinand, of Limestone, Maine, was found guilty of second-degree murder and evidence tampering in the Jan. 4, 2013 death of Shaniesha Forbes, a student of the Academy for Young Writers in Williamsburg. He’s expected to be sentenced early next year and faces 25 years to life behind bars.

Ferdinand and Forbes met over Facebook in the month before her murder and developed a relationship. Sources told NBC 4 New York shortly after Forbes' death that Ferdinand told investigators they had unprotected sex multiple times.

They met at Forbes’ apartment on Nostrand Avenue on Jan. 4, when she told him she was pregnant. They argued about the presumed pregnancy, and Ferdinand demanded that she “kill it.”

When she refused, prosecutors say Ferdinand put a pillow over her face until she stopped moving. He then brought her body to the roof and hid it for a day before taking it to Gerritsen Beach in a suitcase and setting her on fire using Axe body spray as an accelerant.

A medical examiner determined Forbes wasn’t pregnant after her death. She would be 16 if she were still alive.

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