Matthew Mercado, 37, was charged Friday with second degree murder in the death of his ex-girlfriend Jessica Lopez.
Lopez went missing on November 3, 2019 and was last seen at the Windsor Motel in Orange County, New York. Her car was found abandoned in the parking lot of a Newburgh movie theater shortly after her disappearance, but her body was never found.
In a news conference on Friday, Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler stated that, “we are not hopeful that her body will ever be recovered. But we will not stop continuing trying to recover that body for her family.” Hoovler also revealed that there was ample evidence suggesting that Lopez’s death was a homicide.
In the last hours of her life, Lopez was seen with her boyfriend Matthew Mercado. Hoovler reported that authorities believe her death was “a domestic violence-related homicide, in every way, shape and form.”
Before Friday, Mercado had also been charged with burglary in the second degree for breaking into a room at the Windsor Motel last November. Mercado allegedly stole two bags from three women who were asleep in the room.
Mercado has entered a plea of not guilty, but is being held on a $1 million bond. If convicted, he may face up to 25 years to life in state prison. Mercado’s next court date is scheduled for December 2.