ETNA (KDKA) – A man has been arrested in connection with the suspicious death of his girlfriend in Etna Wednesday morning.
Police led Victor Dinino away in handcuffs early Thursday morning. He was taken to jail and is being charged with criminal homicide.
Allegheny County Police held Dinino for almost 24 hours before charging him with homicide. Now, police have released more details about what they believe happened just prior to 31-year-old Jessica Miller’s death, including a violent struggle or assault.
Miller was covered in bruises, grass stains, had dirt on her hands and broken nails. Allegheny County Police said when her battered body started to show those signs, it gave them more evidence that her death was not a suicide.
“During the course of the autopsy, there were multiple bruises noted on different parts of her body, consistent with some form of a struggle, maybe even an assault prior to the actual strangulation,” Allegheny County Police Lt. Andrew Schurman said.
Miller’s boyfriend, Victor Dinino, had cuts on his body and according to the criminal complaint, could not explain how he received them. Dinino called 911 early Wednesday morning, allegedly telling police that Miller hanged herself with a belt outside and that he only discovered her body when he returned to their apartment in Etna after buying heroin.
But, neighbors reported hearing screams and even arguing prior to the 911 call. Dinino was brought in to Allegheny County Police headquarters and was questioned for hours before being charged.
“During the course of the day, we had a number of things that we needed to complete before we could formally charge Mr. Dinino with the homicide. One of those things obviously was the autopsy,” Lt. Schurman said. “They did rule her death a homicide. The cause being ligature strangulation or manual strangulation.”
Police said at this point, they’re reviewing additional evidence, including surveillance footage, and continuing conversations with the district attorney.
They’re also waiting for more information from the Medical Examiner’s Office.