Goey "Joey" Charles, 29 of Uniondale, Long Island, was arrested after he strangled his girlfriend of a year and dumped her body on a sidewalk near a Queens expressway, police revealed on Tuesday, October 28.
Vanessa Pierre, who was a nurse, was 6-months pregnant with their child but was found facedown on the side of the expressway in the early hours of the morning on Friday, October 23.
CCTV footage showed Charles stop Pierre’s car at 2:50 a.m. He then got into the back seat with her, and Pierre was seen moving around in the back seat, according to a news release from Queens district attorney Melinda Katz.
"And then soon afterwards, all movement stopped and the victim appeared to lay across the backseat motionless," the DA’s statement said.
At about 4:38 a.m., he got out of the car and dragged Pierre out.
"The car in the picture is mine," Charles told investigators.
Shortly after abandoning her, he drove away to leave her to die alone on the sidewalk.
Pierre was found 90 minutes later by a passerby with grey sweatpants wrapped around her throat.
Charles has since been arrested for murdering his girlfriend.
"This is a heartbreaking case," Katz said. "A pregnant woman was allegedly killed by this defendant — the father of her unborn child. Her family is devastated. The defendant ... will answer for his alleged actions."
The footage was released on Tuesday when Charles’ arrest was announced. 10 relatives of Pierre’s appeared at his arraignment in Queens Criminal Court, New York, where he is being held without bail before his hearing on Thursday, October 29.
"He’s trying to say he’s innocent,” her sister, Melissa Pierre, said. "They showed him in a video of when my sister was alive ... and then dragging her out of the car dead. He killed her in the car."
He will face 25 years to life in prison if he is convicted of second-degree murder after the medical examiner ruled the case a homicide. The cause of death was asphyxia due to compression of the neck.
Defense attorney Matt Thomas said that his client was innocent. Charles's mother, Majorie Charles, told the Daily News on Monday, October 26, that Pierre stayed at the family home the night before her remains were found.
His aunt, Nerlyne Charles, said she saw no signs of trouble between the couple.
"That’s why I’m shocked about that. It’s my nephew. I want to know what’s really going on. We can’t sit like something’s not happening ... Is she really dead, for real? Why would someone do that?"
His mother said her son called the cops after hearing about the case on the news, but according to neighbors, cops kept tabs on the family house all weekend.
Pierre’s father, Herlin Pierre, told the Daily News that the family is arranging a funeral rather than the arrival of the child.
"I lost two people. I was prepared to have a baby shower for her," he said. "I can’t even sleep. She has a nice family, she goes to school, she’s a nurse — look what happened. She met the wrong guy."