Rahway man admitted to strangling his girlfriend

Yury Cruz, 27, was found unresponsive in a Rahway home where she was later pronounced dead.

Just days before he was due to stand trial, a Rahway man admitted to strangling his live-in girlfriend while their young child slept nearby.

Authorities say Ignacio Ortiz Vasquez, 42, this week pleaded guilty to charges of first-degree murder and second-degree endangering the welfare of a child in connection with the death of 27-year-old Yuri Cruz.

Vasquez’s trial was due to start Tuesday, and the pleas were announced Wednesday. The Mexican immigrant and father of three now faces a possible 30 years to life in prison when he’s sentenced June 8.

On Sept. 12, 2015, police were called to the 2300 block of Jacques Avenue in Rahway around 2:30 a.m.

Rahway police found Cruz unresponsive when they responded to the couple’s home and she was pronounced dead there a short time later.

Prosecutors say Vasquez strangled Cruz in her bed as she slept, just feet away from their son. Vasquez then left the scene but was arrested later that day.

A motive for the slaying hasn’t been disclosed.

Vasquez had previously asked that his bail be reduced from $1.2 million to $500,000 because he had no prior felony convictions. The judge rejected the request.

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