WATERBURY, CT (WFSB) - The search for a man suspected of killing his girlfriend continued on Thursday.
However, Waterbury police believe Alfredo Esmerli Peguero-Gomez has left the state.
Peguero-Gomez is the prime suspect in the death of 26-year-old Janet Avalo-Alvarez, whose body was found in Wolcott on Tuesday.
Avalo-Alvarez disappeared on Nov. 12.
The Port Authority found his car at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey on Friday.
Waterbury police told Channel 3 that Peguero-Gomez is a naturalized U.S. citizen.
When asked about potential ties to the Dominican Republic, they said they are focused on following up all leads and applying for an arrest warrant.
"When it is time to locate him, the necessary investigative steps and the necessary coordination will be made with any outside agencies as required," Waterbury police said.
As friends and family grieve the loss of the Waterbury bar owner, U.S. marshals are leading the search for her boyfriend.
Wednesday, police confirmed that the body found off of Wolcott Road near the Wolcott-Waterbury line was indeed Avalo-Alvarez.
They said she died from neck compression.
Wednesday night, dozens of people came together to remember Avalo-Alvarez. Candles were lit and stories were shared.
"All of us know her, all of us," said Jennifer Alcantara, a friend. "[We're] here because we love her."
Many said they remain in disbelief.
"The family is going through a lot of pain and they don’t deserve pain they are going through," said Grisella Guerrero, a friend. "And it’s hard."
Anyone with information on Peguero-Gomez's whereabouts is asked to contact the Waterbury Police Department. Callers can remain anonymous.