The tragic murder of a young pregnant woman in New York City left many in shock. Sandra Bonaventure was a 20-year-old college student who had her whole life ahead of her. But sadly, one night in 2002 changed everything. Investigation Discovery’s ‘The Perfect Murder: Gone Girl’ brings to the viewers Sandra’s slaying and how the police were able to bring her killer to justice about three years after her death. So, let’s find out more about this case then, shall we?
How Did Sandra Bonaventure Die?
Sandra Bonaventure was born to Haitian immigrants who moved to the United States. She lived in Mount Vernon, New York. Sandra went to the State University of New York at New Paltz, and the young and pretty woman had dreams of becoming a special education teacher. She hoped to help disabled children, according to her sister. At the time, Sandra was about seven months pregnant and was looking forward to going back to college after giving birth.
On June 25, 2002, a homeless man alerted the police after finding Sandra’s badly decomposed body in a trash bag in Manhattan, New York. An autopsy confirmed that she had died of strangulation and had been left there for a few days. Sandra was last known to have traveled from her foster mother’s house in Mount Vernon to Brooklyn to meet Emmanuel Pierre, the man that she had been dating. She had left on June 19 and reached sometime in the early hours of June 20.
Who Killed Sandra Bonaventure?
It was revealed that Emmanuel Pierre, a 26-year-old living in Brooklyn, was the father of Sandra’s unborn child. He was a student at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, double majoring in psychology and economics. Emmanuel was questioned but had maintained that he had nothing to do with the murder. The police considered him a suspect, but at the time, they didn’t have any evidence that tied him to the case. He told the police that he was supposed to pick up Sandra from the station that night but had fallen asleep instead and missed her.
The investigation hit a wall after that because of the lack of any other clues. That was until her credit card was used by someone else after her death. That led the police to Duwayne Morais. Upon questioning, he stated that a friend of his named Josh Cayenne had given him the card and told him that he had killed the owner of the card. Josh was then brought in to be questioned, and the authorities realized that Josh and Emmanuel were fraternity brothers.
Josh told the police that it was Emmanuel who had killed Sandra. Emmanuel had earlier admitted to the police that he had asked Sandra to get an abortion, and police now believed that he killed her because she chose to keep the baby. With Josh’s statements, the police arrested Emmanuel, and he stood trial in March 2005. The prosecution claimed that Emmanuel murdered Sandra because he didn’t want to deal with the baby and was worried that his strict parents would find out.
Sandra’s friends had testified that Emmanuel was dating one of Sandra’s roommates as well. Josh testified that he helped Emmanuel wrap the body in trash bags, and they had driven around until close to sunrise when they dumped the body on a deserted sidewalk. Phone records also showed that the last communication between Emannuel and Sandra was around 2:50 AM on June 20. There were no calls made by Emmanuel after that.
Where is Emmanuel Pierre Now?
Emmanuel was convicted of second-degree murder by a jury after about 4 hours of deliberation. The defense argued that it was Josh who had killed Sandra and that Emmanuel never met her that night. The prosecution stated that Josh had no motive to kill her. In the end, he was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. Emmanuel had maintained his innocence all throughout the trial. Josh was sentenced to probation in exchange for his co-operation. As per prison records, Emmanuel remains incarcerated at the Eastern Correctional Facility in Napanoch, New York. His parole date is set for December 2028.
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