Vanessa Pierre, a 29-year-old nurse practitioner from Long Island, was found dead near a highway in Queens, New York, according to the Daily News. Pierre was was six-months pregnant at the time of her death.
According to a statement from the Queens County District Attorney's Office, Goey Charles has been charged with second-degree murder in connection to Pierre's death. Charles, 29, was the expectant mother's boyfriend and father of her unborn child.
Officials said in the early morning hours of Oct. 23, a surveillance video captured Pierre’s final moments. Charles was allegedly driving the victim’s car when he pulled over onto the shoulder of the Horace Harding Expressway. According to the footage, she was in the backseat of the car and still alive. However, footage later showed the expectant mother unresponsive after Charles was seen in the backseat with her.
“At approximately 4:38 a.m., the defendant is observed exiting the vehicle and then allegedly dragging the pregnant woman out of the car and dropping her body onto the sidewalk,” the district attorney’s statement read. "The defendant allegedly left the woman's dying body on the side of the roadway, returned to the vehicle and fled the scene.”
Pierre’s body was discovered by an MTA worker at 6 a.m., with a pair of gray sweatpants wrapped around her neck. Paramedics were called to the scene where she was pronounced dead.
“The defendant was identified in a photo array and in video stills and apprehended yesterday evening by members of the New York City Police Department’s 111th Precinct Detective Squad,” the statement continued.
Herlin Pierre, the victim’s father, was justifiably distraught over the news of his daughter and unborn granddaughter, according to The Daily News.
“It’s horrible what happened,” her father said. “She was pregnant, too. She was six months. That’s what she told me. It looks like I lost two people. I was prepared to have a baby shower for her, and that’s the bad news I heard.”
Intimate femicide, homicide of a woman committed by a past or current partner or spouse, is the leading cause of death for Black women and girls between the ages of 15 and 35, according to HG Legal Resources. The World Health Organization reports that 35% of female homicides are committed by their significant other.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. If you are being abused or in danger, please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at hotline.org or 800-799-7233.