A pregnant woman who was found dead over the weekend was strangled by the father of her unborn child a month ago, police said Monday.
Stephen Poaches killed LaToyia Figueroa in his apartment July 18, put her body in the trunk of his car and left the corpse at a vacant lot in nearby Cherster, Chief Inspector Joseph Fox said.
Poaches went back to the site early Saturday to move the body but didn't know that police were following him because a tipster called them last week and agreed to help them, Fox said.
Figueroa's body was found in dense brush near railroad tracks early Saturday and officers arrested Poaches, 25, on murder charges.
Figueroa, 24, disappeared July 18, hours after going for a prenatal checkup with Poaches - who was also expecting a baby with a second girlfriend.
He previously professed his innocence but some of the victim's family members faulted him for failing to join the various searches undertaken since her disappearance.
Michael Coard, Poaches' lawyer, declined comment Monday. Poaches was expected to be arraigned Monday, the same day autopsy results were due to be released.
Prosecutors announced plans to charge him with two counts of murder, one for Figueroa and the fetus, which was five months along.
Figueroa was excited about the daughter she was expecting this fall, although co-workers sensed there were problems in her relationship.
"She was going through drama with him (Poaches)," said Cathy Reed, who worked with Figueroa at a restaurant. "I can't say that I'm surprised that it was him."
Family members have told conflicting stories about Poaches' attitude about being involved with two pregnant women, said City Councilman Juan Ramos, a distant relative to the victim. Ramos said some family members said Poaches was "very conflicted, very troubled about the pregnancy."
Her family on Monday was preparing to break the news to Figueroa's 7-year-old daughter, who lived with her mother and a great aunt, the AP reports.