TRENTON, N.J. (AP) _ The married lover of a missing New Jersey woman was ordered held on bail Friday after prosecutors alleged he struck her on the head, stuffed her chopped-up body in a suitcase and dumped it in a pond.
Investigators believe Rosario DiGirolamo killed Amy Giordano with a blunt object in her apartment last June, then sawed her body into pieces, prosecutor Tom Meidt said in court.
"He had to get a hand saw or a hacksaw to complete the job of chopping up the body of Amy Giordano," he said.
DiGirolamo, 33, was ordered to remain in jail in lieu of $1 million bond.
He was arrested last week after skeletal remains believed to be Giordano's were found in a pond in Staten Island, N.Y., with the help of John A. Russo Jr., an alleged accomplice who has been speaking with investigators.
Authorities believe the remains are Giordano's because pictures of her son, whom DiGirolamo fathered, were in the suitcase, Meidt said. DNA tests are pending.
Meidt said that DiGirolamo killed his 27-year-old mistress because he could no longer afford to support two households and that he told Russo beforehand of his intentions.
According to prosecutors, Russo helped DiGirolamo buy drain cleaner, reinforced garbage bags and a saw blade. Meidt told the judge that Russo also waited for DiGirolamo in Staten Island to help dispose of the body on June 9.
Russo is expected to face his own arraignment soon on charges of evidence tampering. His lawyer, George Vomvolakis, said Russo has known DiGirolamo since 1991 but didn't think he would actually kill anyone.
"Even when the guy bought the stuff, at no point did my client take this guy seriously," Vomvolakis said.
The 1-year-old son of DiGirolamo and Giordano is now in foster care. Giordano was last heard from June 8. The next day, the boy was found abandoned in the parking lot of Christiana Hospital in Newark, Del.
DiGirolamo has since admitted he left the child, as he argues through his lawyer that he had nothing to do with Giordano's disappearance. He already had pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment and child abandonment.
His lawyer, Jerome Ballarotto, said DiGirolamo planned to fight the charges.
"The state's case is extremely circumstantial," Ballarotto said. "It's based on statements made by individuals whose veracity and credibility have not been tested in any way whatsoever."
DiGirolamo faces a term of 30 years to life in prison if convicted of murder and evidence tampering. Ballarotto said Friday that his client had four hours' notice last week that he was going to be arrested.
"Why sit in your parent's house, with your passport in a dresser drawer, with a four-hour head start if you're not an innocent man?" he said.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.