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Eatontown Man Admits Strangling, Burying Estranged Wife

An Eatontown man who today admitted strangling his estranged wife, and dumping her body in a shallow grave near the Garden State Parkway in Aberdeen, now awaits a February 7 sentencing.

In Monmouth County Superior Court in Freehold, Oscar Prior-Ramirez, 33, pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter for the death of Viridiana Beltran-Gomez, 26, of Red Bank on May 12, 2011, according to information from the office of acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Chris Grammiccioni.

Authorities will ask for a 27-year sentence for Prior-Ramirez. It would be subject to New Jersey’s No Early Release Act, requiring him to serve 85 percent of the term before parole eligibility.

Prior-Ramirez admitted strangling his victim during an argument, hiding her body in a wooded area, then returning the next day with a shovel, tarp and concrete he had bought to bury her remains.

Authorites say that two sons from their marriage survive.

Beltran-Gomez had last been seen leaving the Siena Grill on Shrewsbury Avenue in Red Bank, where she worked. Family members reported her missing on May 13, triggering a search by Red Bank and Eatontown police and county investigators.

The search plodded on fruitlessly for a month. But according to Grammiccioni, investigators collected evidence tying Prior-Ramirez to the case.

A systematic search of ground near Parkway mile marker 119 began on June 24. The following day, police found what was later to be identified as Beltran-Gomez.

Prior-Ramirez’s stay in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution in Freehold has continued since his arrest on June 25, 2011. His bail remains at $1,500,000.

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