The former boyfriend of a mother from East Hampton, whose remains were found in September, has been charged with her murder and appeared in court Monday.
The remains of Jini Barnum were found on a dirt trail known as Windham Road in Glastonbury by a woman walking her dog in September 2012.
Barnum, 30, the mother of an infant, was last seen on July 28 after getting in a fight with her boyfriend, Anthony Garofalo. He told police that Barnum stormed out of their apartment on foot after an argument about her drinking and driving.
Garofalo, 38, of East Hampton, was arrested Monday and charged with murder, first-degree strangulation and tampering with physical evidence.
He was arraigned in Middlesex Superior Court on Monday and is being held on a $1 million bond. Eyewitness News was the only station in court.
Garofalo, who has been in prison for violating his parole since August, was the live-in boyfriend of Barnum, who had a 6-week-old daughter at the time of her disappearance, and is believed to be the last person to see her before she vanished.
Eyewitness News learned that in high school Garofalo, who is a convicted sex offender, hunted on the land where Barnum's body was found. According to police, Garofalo's friend, who owned the land, gave him keys to unlock a gate that accesses the property.
Police also found a metal shovel and iron rake in Garofalo's pickup, and an FBI analyst pinged his cell phone within a quarter mile of where Barnum's body was buried.
"He continues to maintain his denials," said Garofalo's attorney, John Maxwell.
For weeks, Barnum's friends led exhaustive searches; however, Garofalo never participated.
In court papers, police announced their "suspicions" and "concern" that Garofalo wasn't trying harder to find his missing girlfriend.
Meanwhile, four outgoing calls made from Barnum's phone were pinged within five miles of their Main Street apartment in Middletown.
On the days after Barnum went missing, Garofalo denied having any involvement with her disappearance to both Eyewitness News and police.
"I'm not going to take my baby's mother from her," he previously told Eyewitness News. "I want her home."
When detectives interviewed Garofalo, he teared up and denied killing her. Instead, he claimed she took off on foot with just her phone and wallet.
Garofalo's friend later told authorities she saw Barnum's wallet in their apartment. In October, an officer with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection found the same wallet floating in the Salmon River in East Haddam.
Copyright 2013 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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