EX INDICTED IN RED BANK WOMAN’S DEATH

By JOHN T. WARD

An Eatontown man was indicted Wednesday for the alleged murder of his ex-wife, a Red Bank woman whose body was found six weeks after she disappeared last spring, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office announced.

Oscar Prior-Ramirez, 32, was charged with one count of first-degree murder in connection with the death of Viridiana Beltran-Gomez, 26, who vanished after working her shift at Siena Grill on Shrewsbury Avenue last May 12.

Her corpse was discovered l June 25 near mile marker 119 of the Garden State Parkway in Aberdeen. Authorities said an autopsy showed she had died by asphyxiation.

Prior-Ramirez and Beltran-Gomez had been married for three years and had two children.

From the announcement:

The charge follows an investigation that was undertaken after family members reported Beltran-Gomez missing to the Red Bank Police Department at approximately 6:00 p.m. on Friday, May 13, 2011. She was last seen on the evening of Thursday, May 12, 2011 leaving her place of employment at the in Red Bank.

Information and evidence obtained during the investigation indicated that Prior-Ramirez was responsible for Beltran-Gomez’s death. Law enforcement officials obtained information that led them to conduct a systematic search for the victim’s body on Friday, June 24, 2011 along the shoulder of portions of the Garden State Parkway in Monmouth County. On June 25, 2011, police discovered human remains off of the Garden State Parkway in the area of mile marker 119 in the Township of Aberdeen. The body was confirmed to be that of Beltran-Gomez. Prior-Ramirez was arrested and charged with her death later that day.

Prior-Ramirez’s bail was set at $1.5 million by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Ronald L. Reisner. Prior-Ramirez was lodged at the Monmouth County Correctional Institution thereafter and remains in custody in lieu of bail.

Prosecutor Warshaw thanked several law enforcement authorities for their assistance in this matter, including the Red Bank Police Department, the Eatontown Police Department, the Aberdeen Police Department, the New Jersey State Police and the Bergen County Sheriff’s Department.

If convicted of first degree murder, Prior-Ramirez faces a minimum sentence of 30 years in New Jersey State Prison, with a 30-year period of parole ineligibility and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. The murder charge is subject to the provisions of the “No Early Release Act,” which requires that a defendant serve 85% of the sentence imposed before becoming eligible for parole.