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Boyfriend Appears In Court In Murder Of Eastern Connecticut State U. Student

Alyssiah Wiley's Body Was Found In A Wooded Area
Alyssiah Wiley (credit: Conn. State Police)

Alyssiah Wiley (credit: Conn. State Police)

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The longtime boyfriend of an Eastern Connecticut State University student appeared in court Monday, three days after the student’s body was found in a wooded area.

Jermaine Richards, 30, was in handcuffs and leg shackles as he was arraigned Monday in Bridgeport Superior Court. Several relatives of the victim — Alyssiah Wiley, 20 — attended the proceeding wearing T-shirts with the word “taken” above a picture of her.

A judge ordered Richards held on $1 million bail and continued the case to June 25.

Tensions were high at the arraignment amid an increased police presence. Several people yelled at each other inside and outside the courthouse, but no arrests were made.

Wiley’s mother, Corrinna Martin, wept as she left the building.

Richards didn’t enter a plea, but his lawyer, John Gulash, said his client intends to plead not guilty. Richards is a long-time Bridgeport resident with no criminal record, Gulash said.

Wiley, a sophomore psychology major, was last seen April 20 on Main Street in Willimantic, a few blocks from campus. She was reported missing on April 24.

In the weeks that followed, police searched for her in several parts of the state using aircraft and dogs, while her family pleaded with the public to come forward with information on her whereabouts.

A police cadaver dog found her remains Friday in a wooded area of Trumbull, about a mile from Richards’ home in Bridgeport. Autopsy results are pending, and state police haven’t said how she died.

Richards turned himself in to police Saturday after learning there was a warrant for his arrest.

Police said they searched Richards’ home and removed evidence but did not specify what had been recovered. Police found a black Nissan Altima last week near the Bridgeport-Fairfield line that they said was connected to the case, but officials wouldn’t say how it was related.

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