SALEM, Mass — 23-year-old Pablo Vicente was arraigned in Salem District Court Tuesday for the murder of his girlfriend Nayeli Nieves.
The 22-year-old mother of two is still missing.
In court, a prosecutor said Vicente confessed to the murder, and that investigators may have made a key discovery.
“Police have been searching for the body and have recovered some body part, it would appear to be human remains at this point,” Essex County Assistant District Attorney A.J. Camelio told the court.
According to a police report, Vicente admitted to police that he strangled Nieves in her apartment on Pope Street, after they got into an argument over her phone.
He accused her of cheating on him.
Police say the murder happened in front of their two young children, and that he stayed in the apartment with the children and Nayeli’s decaying body for three days.
Eventually, Vicente said, Nayeli’s body became “stinky,” so he wrapped her up and put her body in a dumpster.
In court documents, investigators say when they pulled surveillance video from the apartment complex, they saw Vicente, Monday morning at about 4:00 a.m., leaving the apartment with a dolly and a human-sized object that was wrapped in garbage bags and duct tape. He was headed towards a large dumpster outside.
Police have searched area landfills and incinerators looking for Nayeli.
“We are actively searching. We have found what I would call evidence, but I don’t want to say yet if that is her,” said Salem Police Chief Lucas Miller.
“She was a great sister and she was all about her kids, her family and everything,” said Nayeli’s brother, Angel Nieves. “I miss her, I’m going to miss her.”
The victim’s family is shocked and angry.
They say Pablo was charged with abusing Nayeli in 2019 and earlier this year, but he was still on the streets.
“She called the police, she did what she was supposed to do, the first few times it happened. We just didn’t think it would happen again,” said Jannessa Sosa, Nayeli’s sister-in-law.
Pablo Vicente was ordered held without bail.
Download the FREE Boston 25 News app for breaking news alerts.
©2023 Cox Media Group