FARMINGVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A man was arrested and charged Monday evening in the violent death of a 36-year-old woman in Farmingville.
Charles Pray, 34, of Bay Shore, was charged with second-degree murder in the death of Monica Lino, 36, according to Suffolk County police.
Lino’s body was discovered by her nephew on the first floor of her Berkshire Drive home just after 3 p.m. Sunday. Lino was pronounced dead at the scene.
With CBS 2 cameras present, Richard Pelliccia – who is engaged to Lino’s aunt – broke the news to the family that her missing car had been recovered 30 miles away in a Merrick parking lot adjacent to a local food market.
“People were saying inside the store that the car has been sitting there since yesterday,” a Merrick resident said Monday.
Investigators said the license plates on the Volkswagen Jetta were covered.
On Sunday, Lino was found in a pool of blood on the first floor of the house she rented on Berkshire Drive in Farmingville.
“Monica got killed – oh no, choked up, you know? Very sad; she was a nice lady; two beautiful little kids, and now they’re lost,” Pelliccia said.
The victim’s 12-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter were visiting relatives in Portugal at the time.
Lino worked a desk job for an insurance company, and was raising her children on her own after her husband committed suicide several years ago.
A friend of Lino’s, Melissa Tanzi, put out a candle in her friend’s honor. She talked about her slain friend with McLogan and WCBS 880’s Mike Xirinachs.
“In honor of Monica – you know, she was taken too early. She was a beautiful woman,” said Melissa Tanzi, a friend of the victim’s. “In her memory, I wanted to put a candle, and tonight come out and light it.”
Downstairs tenants returned home after speaking with detectives. They said they heard no struggle or shouts.
The nephew who found Lino’s body believes a large knife was missing from a set in the kitchen.
In the wake of the slaying, friends were caring for the victim’s pet rabbits, which were kept out in cages in the back.
“She was a good friend, a good mother, it’s a real shame, hope they find who they think did it,” said neighbor Doug Perro.
Family members said Lino had recently started dating someone they did not approve of, who was known to travel by train and bus.
“He was very new, only the past couple of weeks, but I didn’t get a good vibe at all from him,” Tanzi told 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera.
Pray was set to appear at Suffolk County First District Court in Central Islip on Tuesday.
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