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Man admits to slaying of Valery’s mom

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Cesar Ascarrunz admitted to killing and disposing of the body of Monica Lozada, 26, between Sept. 24 and 25 as well as abandoning her daughter Valery several miles from her home, DA Richard Brown said. He faces up to 32 years in prison, .Sentencing was set for March 15 in the courtroom of State Supreme Court Justice Robert Hanophy in Kew Gardens.Ascarrunz, who lived at 111-17 66th St., later deposited the woman's body in a plastic bag on the street, where it was removed with the trash and ultimately recovered in a Pennsylvania garbage dump, prosecutors said.New Yorkers were captivated by the 4-year-old girl after the city Administration for Children's Services put her on television in order to help identify her. The image of her shy smile and pigtails was shown repeatedly in the media over the following weeks as the tragedy unfolded. She was finally identified by a relative of her mother.It was not until Oct. 6 that the victim's body was recovered and then almost two more weeks before it was positively identified.Following a Family Court hearing Oct. 14, Long Island relatives of the slain mother were granted temporary custody of the child. Permanent custody has been complicated because her father, Juan Carlos Saavedra, is in a Bolivian prison on drug charges, and his parental rights would have to be severed before another person could adopt the girl, officials said.There was a hearing at Family Court in Jamaica Feb. 17 to hear child endangerment charges against Cesar Ascarrunz, but officials would not comment on the outcome of the proceedings.Brown said the plea would save the victim's daughter from the pain of reliving the violence during a trial."It not only ensures that the defendant is held responsible for his actions and protects society, but it also spares young Valery the emotional trauma of having to testify about the events surrounding her abandonment and the death of her mother," he said.Reach reporter Adam Pincus by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.

Posted 7:15 pm, October 10, 2011
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