WEST HAVEN -- A West Haven man faced a judge today after being charged with murdering his wife in a domestic violence dispute.
Police responded to the Pinedo couple's home at the Colonial Ridge Condominium complex on Saturday after receiving a 911 call. When officers arrived, they found Catherine Pinedo, 38, dead.
Carlos Abraham-Pinedo, 44, Catherine's husband, called 911 to report that she was dead, though he initially told the dispatcher she had fallen in their condominium before he admitted to strangling her.
"There is a Mirandized confession in which the defendant relayed the horrifying details of the crime," said Milford public defender Kevin Williams Monday afternoon.
The couple had been married for eight years, according to the victim's mother.
"Everybody, we are all shocked," said Michael Agsalud, the brother of the victim who also lives in the complex. "We can't believe what happened."
The couple’s two young children, in kindergarten and first grade, now live with their uncle but are not yet aware of what happened to their mother.
"I'm waiting for, you know, help from social services and a psychiatrist on how to tell them about what's happening," said Agsalud, who noted the children were not home at the time of the deadly dispute.
Agsalud told FOX 61 he was unaware of any problems within the couple's marriage. He said his sister was a very private person. But, Agsalud said there was one possible trigger.
"He has a history of anxiety and he's taking medication for that," Asgalud said of Carlos Pinedo.
According to the incident report, Pinedo told police he grabbed his wife's neck and held it until she stopped moving. The Peru native, who has lived in Connecticut for 27 years, then admitted to police that she had been dead for several hours before he made the emergency call. The police paperwork never indicates why he waited so long to call.
Carlos Pinedo told police that after his wife returned home from work as a nurse Saturday morning she went upstairs to their children’s room to get some sleep. He stated he attempted to speak with her through the closed and locked bedroom door, but a minor argument ensued. Pinedo told police he became very angry and went downstairs to the kitchen to get a knife.
According to the incident report, Pinedo’s "sole intention for this knife was to stab and kill his wife when she answered the door."
"When she opened the door, he took the knife out of his pants pocket and lunged at her with the knife several times. Carlos was unable to stab the victim due to her jumping backwards away from him."
This infuriated Pinedo, who then threatened to slash his own throat. But his wife convinced him to give her the knife instead. Shortly thereafter, according to the incident report, "Carlos stated he reached out and grabbed his wife by the neck and began squeezing her neck with enough strength to force her to the bedroom floor. Once on the floor, Carlos admitted to positioning his body on top of her and continued to strangle her until she was unconscious."
Carlos Pinedo remains held on $2 million bond, and his next court appearance will be on April 18.