A Camden man was charged Wednesday with fatally stabbing his girlfriend in the home they shared, then staging her death to make it look like a suicide.
Edwin Zavaleta, 28, faces counts of first-degree murder and tampering with evidence in the death of Tonia Yamileth Zavaleta, 25.
The two were not legally married, but she used his last name, Camden County Prosecutor’s Office spokesperson Colby Gallagher said.
On Monday morning, authorities said, Edwin Zavaleta called 911 and said he had found his girlfriend unresponsive in their home on the 1000 block of South Sixth Street. He was in the house when officers arrived and found his girlfriend dead in an upstairs bedroom.
Detectives later determined that Zavaleta killed his girlfriend and staged her death to appear as a suicide, the Prosecutor’s Office said. The motive for the stabbing remains under investigation.
A medical examiner on Tuesday ruled that her death was a homicide, caused by a stab wound and blunt force trauma to her neck.
Zavaleta is in custody at the Camden County Correctional Facility awaiting a detention hearing. He did not have an attorney listed for him in the court system.