South Jersey man charged with strangling girlfriend

Murder charges have been filed against a South Jersey man accused of strangling his girlfriend.Camden County prosecutors said bail was set at $750,000 for Joshua Rivera-Santos of Pennsauken. He’s charged in the death of 21-year-old Rebecca Ugarte, whose body was found Tuesday at his mother’s Gloucester Township home.

A possible motive for the slaying has not been disclosed.

A cellphone charger was wrapped around Ugarte’s neck. An autopsy determined she died from blunt force trauma to the neck.

Rivera-Santos’ mother saw Ugarte covered in blankets and lying in the basement on Tuesday morning, but believed she was sleeping, prosecutors said.

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When the mother returned home around noon and saw Ugarte was still in the basement, she questioned her son and soon realized Ugarte was dead.

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