Man charged in death of girlfriend found in shallow grave

A man has been charged with killing his live-in girlfriend, whose body was found in a shallow grave behind a restaurant in Branford two weeks after she was reported missing from her East Haven home, police said Sunday.

East Haven Police said Jonathan Jara-Acupina is charged with murder for the death of 27-year-old Lizzbeth Aleman-Popoca in June. He’s due in court on Monday. It’s unclear if he has a lawyer to comment.

Jara-Acupina worked as a cook at the restaurant near the spot where Aleman-Popoca’s body was buried, about a 10-minute drive from the couple's home. Police said he was the father of her 7-year-old daughter.

The state medical examiner's office ruled the death resulted from homicidal asphyxiation.

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