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Man convicted of aggravated manslaughter in wife’s death

July 10, 2018

ELIZABETH, N.J. (AP) — A man accused of strangling his wife and leaving her body in an abandoned home has been convicted of aggravated manslaughter.

A Union County jury also convicted Abayuba Rivas of child endangerment, desecration of human remains, two weapons offenses and three counts of hindering apprehension. But the 43-year-old Elizabeth man was found not guilty of murder when the verdicts were announced Monday.

Prosecutors said Rivas killed his 32-year-old wife, Karla Jose Villagra-Garzon, in March 2014. They were the parents of a young daughter.

Authorities say Rivas stuffed his wife’s body in a suitcase and drove her to a vacant home in Chatham. He dumped her body on a mattress in the basement.

Rivas reported his wife missing the next day.

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