A Waterbury man accused of killing the same woman whose name is tattooed on his neck faced a judge on Tuesday.
Adam Plaeger, 38, was taken into custody on Sunday on charges that he murdered 40-year-old Melanie Heuberger.
Police said they were first tipped off about the murder after they received a call about a foul odor that was emanating from the second floor of an apartment on Plaza Avenue.
Neighbors told Eyewitness News that the stench was so bad that it could be smelled on the street.
Michael Juliano and his wife Katie sublet a bedroom in their second floor apartment on Plaza Avenue to the couple, and they had called police after not seeing Heuberger around and noticing the smell. They were the ones who called 911.
Police said they eventually found Heuberger's body in the closet. They said the body had likely been there for days.
Police developed Plaeger, who lived in the apartment with Heuberger, as the suspect.
Investigators said the couple got into some kind of argument which may have led to Plaeger strangling Heuberger.
Neighbors called the crime surprising. They said the suspect idolized the victim and that the tattoo on his neck is one of two that feature her name.
Plaeger was arraigned in Waterbury Superior Court on Tuesday morning. The court documents were sealed in the case.
His bond was kept at $1 million.
His next court date is July 13. Plaeger was put on suicide watch
Plaeger has a criminal history, but relatively minor crimes. The couple was supposedly engaged to be married. Heuberger's 41st birthday would have been on Friday.
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