Salem

Vigil held for young mom killed in Salem, allegedly by her boyfriend

Family members say the body of 20-year-old Nayeli Nieves still hasn't been found, nearly a week after her boyfriend was charged with her murder in court.

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A vigil was held Monday night for a woman who police say was killed by her boyfriend in Salem, Massachusetts.

Speaking through a translator, the victim's mother described what a great daughter and mom 20-year-old Nayeli Nieves had been to her two young children.

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"We're all going to miss her in our hearts," Carmen Cobian said, fighting back tears. "Again, we all just want justice for Nayeli."

Nieves' family, together with Salem city councilors, police officers and firefighters, lit a candle in her memory during the vigil.

"On behalf of the city of Salem, I want to express our deepest condolences to Nayeli's family," Mayor Dominick Pangallo said.

Police say 33-year-old Pablo Vicente, Nieves' boyfriend, admitted to killing her in her Pope Street apartment while her children were home and then putting her body in a dumpster. Nearly a week after Vicente was charged with her murder in court, Nieves' body still hasn't been found.

Nieves' father Samuel says these last couple of days have been difficult not knowing where she is.

"He as well as all the family have been doing our own searches in the woods. We haven't stopped searching. We are continuing to look for her until we get answers," a woman speaking alongside Samuel Nieves said. "He can't with this pain anymore and until he finds his daughter, he will not be able to get...he will not be able to live with the pain."

A man was arraigned Tuesday in the murder of a woman whose body has not been found.

Police say they began an investigation into a domestic violence situation involving Nieves in July.

"From the first call we received warning signs were present. A further look showed a history of abuse. There was a recent separation and relocation," Salem police officer Max Zirin said.

Police stress that Nieves' case had been prioritized since the first day they got the call.

"I wanted to share some of our side as it shows that Nayeli was concerned about her situation and that she was working to act on those concerns. She was not ignored," Zirin said.

Family members of Nieves have said they blame the system for her death, pointing to Vicente's history of alleged abuse.

The Essex District Attorney has called this another example of "terrible domestic violence, a young mother taken by violence from her partner."

Vicente pled not guilty during his arraignment last week. He's being held without bail and is expected back in court on Sept. 8.

Nieves' two young children, 3 years and 18 months old, were placed in the care of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families. There was no update Monday on the kids.

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