Man admits strangling girlfriend as son slept

A New Jersey man has admitted strangling his live-in girlfriend as their young child slept nearby, just days before he was due to stand trial in the slaying.

Union County prosecutors say 42-year-old Ignacio Ortiz Vasquez pleaded guilty this week to murder and child endangerment charges in the September 2015 death of 27-year-old Yuri Cruz. The pleas were made public Wednesday.

Vasquez’s trial was due to start Tuesday. He now faces a possible life term when he’s sentenced June 8.

Rahway police found Cruz unresponsive when they responded to the couple’s home. She was pronounced dead there a short time later.

Prosecutors say Vasquez strangled Cruz in her bed as she slept, just feet away from their son. Vasquez then left the scene but was arrested later that day.

A motive for the slaying hasn’t been disclosed.

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