Former Marine Michael Owen allegedly strangled Kelly Owen after learning she was pregnant

By Chris Harris
January 30, 2020 12:13 PM
Nassau County Police Department

Police on Long Island have made an arrest in the murder of Kelly Owen, a 27-year-old mother who was working on her nursing degree.

PEOPLE confirms that Michael Owen, Kelly’s estranged husband, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a single charge of second-degree murder stemming from the Jan. 15 killing in a South Farmingdale, New York, home.

Nassau County Homicide Det. Lt. Stephen Fitzpatrick spoke to reporters about the arrest this week, saying the couple had separated in 2018 after a five-year marriage, but continued to have a “physical and intimate” relationship.

According to Fitzpatrick, Michael, 27, allegedly strangled Kelly after learning she was pregnant. The couple already have a daughter.

“He did not want this child,” said Fitzpatrick during a news conference. “He did not want to give her medical insurance. He had this new relationship he was involved in, and he was in a bad position.”

Police allege Michael was living with his new girlfriend at the time of the murder.

Michael, a former Marine sergeant, is being held without bond. Information on his attorney was unavailable Thursday.

Michael Owen
Nassau County Police Department

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE’s free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.

Kelly was found dead on Jan. 15 in the home she shared with her parents and brother.

Her mother and father returned home that day at around 3:30 p.m. to find her car still in the driveway. She regularly assisted at her 6-year-old daughter’s after-school program, which began at 3 p.m.

Her parents rushed inside to find her not breathing and called 911.

She was pronounced dead about 10 minutes later.

Kelly, a nursing student on break from classes, died of asphyxiation, according to the coroner’s office, which confirmed she was pregnant.