The sentence comes after Fuentes admitted last month to first-degree manslaughter by choking his wife, 42-year-old Reina De Los Santos Reyes, in their Woodhaven home. He also pled guilty to tampering with physical evidence.
In pleading guilty, Fuentes admitted that between June 19, 2007 and June 22, 2007, while they resided at 78-17 88th Road in Woodhaven, he caused the death of his wife by putting his arm around her neck and choking her until she turned blue.
As part of his guilty plea, Fuentes agreed to show investigators where the rest of his wife’s body is located. According to the Queens District Attorney's Office, Fuentes showed police and prosecutors where the rest of his wife's remains were located. They have since been recovered.
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown called the sentencing “a measure of justice for the victim and her family.”
“It ensures that her husband will be punished for his actions and it spares the couple's 13-year-old daughter from having to testify against her father for viciously killing her mother,” he said in a statement.
In June 2007, police received a call from Fuentes, who reported that his wife was missing.
The police officer who responded to the call noted that Fuentes had fresh scratch marks on both of his arms and what appeared to be a bite mark on his left hand. He also seemed very nervous and was shaking and stuttering. Fuentes told police that the scratch marks were from playing with his children and that he last saw his wife on June 20, 2007.
The D.A.’s statement on the sentencing further details that detectives soon learned of the couple’s loud argument at approximately 10 p.m. on June 19, 2007.
Witnesses reported that Fuentes had been heard threatening to kill Reyes in April of that year and that in May, he had been observed choking Reyes and threatening to kill her if she ever left him.
On March 4, 2008, four teenagers walking in Forest Park near Park Lane South and Forest Parkway observed a suitcase, which ended up containing a human skull and various other body parts. The remains, identified through dental records and kinship DNA analysis, were proven to be Reyes’.
As the case rattled Woodhaven, Reyes’ sister Marisol De Los Santos, began to seek assistance from community leaders after the police told her that she might have abandoned her family.
She received help from Enrique Lugo of the Corona National Group and former Councilman Hiram Monserrate. Monserrate held rallies and press conferences to raise awareness. He also conducted a flyer distribution in search of Reyes.
“This is the last chapter in a horrible and sad case of domestic violence and murder,” said Martha Flores-Vazquez, a district leader who participated in the rallies and press conferences, in a statement issued last month.