Press Release

For Immediate Release: June 8, 2018

A Rahway resident who strangled his girlfriend in 2015, killing her, has been sentenced to 47 years in state prison for the crime, acting Union County Prosecutor Michael A. Monahan announced Friday.

Ignacio Ortiz Vasquez, 42, was ordered to serve a minimum of 85 percent of a 40-year sentence for murder before beginning a seven-year  sentence for endangering the welfare of a child under the terms set down Friday by state Superior Court Judge Lisa Miralles Walsh.

Rahway Police Department patrol units responded to the 900 block of Jacques Avenue in Rahway shortly after 2:30 a.m. on Saturday, September 12, 2015 to find the body of 27-year-old Yuri Cruz, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutor Melissa Spagnoli, who prosecuted the case. Cruz was pronounced dead at the scene shortly thereafter.

A joint investigation by the Union County Homicide Task Force and the Rahway Police Department, assisted by the Union County Sheriff’s Office Identification Unit, revealed that Vasquez had strangled Cruz in her bed as she slept, just feet away from where their young son was also sleeping, Spagnoli said. Vasquez then left the scene.    

Vasquez was arrested later that day and lodged in Union County Jail on $1 million. He pleaded guilty to murder and endangering in April 2018, just days before jury selection was scheduled to begin for his trial.

The victim’s brother and father read statements into the record during Friday’s sentencing.

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