Vanessa Pierre, a nurse practitioner, was looking forward to being a mom, her sister said
Vanessa Pierre
Credit: GoFundMe

A Long Island man is being held on a second-degree murder charge for allegedly strangling his pregnant girlfriend Friday night and then leaving her body along the side of a Queens expressway.

PEOPLE confirms the allegations against 29-year-old Goey Charles, who investigators contend killed Vanessa Pierre.

Relatives said Pierre was 6 months pregnant.

The expectant mother, who worked as a nurse practitioner, had already picked out a name for the baby girl she was carrying.

Police allege that Charles dumped the body of Pierre, 29, along the shoulder of the Horace Harding Expressway in Bayside.

An MTA bus driver spotted her at around 6 a.m. on Friday, and called 911.

A statement from the Queens District Attorney's Office alleges Pierre was found with a pair of gray sweatpants wrapped around her neck.

It is alleged in the statement that video surveillance from just before 3 a.m. captured the attack on Pierre.

Goey Charles
Goey Charles
| Credit: New York Police Department

The footage allegedly shows Charles pulling over on the Horace Harding Expressway before attacking the woman he'd been dating for more than a year.

"Charles exited the driver's seat of a 2019 white Dodge Challenger, which is registered in the name of the victim, Vanessa Pierre," the statement reads. "He moved to the backseat where Ms. Pierre could be seen moving on the video footage. And then, soon afterwards, all movement stopped and the victim appeared to lay across the backseat motionless."

More than 90 minutes later, "the defendant is observed exiting the vehicle and then allegedly dragging the pregnant woman out of the car and dropping her body onto the sidewalk."

Adds the statement: "The defendant allegedly left the woman's dying body on the side of the roadway, returned to the vehicle and fled the scene."

First responders arrived and declared her dead at the scene.

Speaking to Newsday, Pierre's sister, Melissa Pierre, said the victim was eager to be a mom.

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"Vanessa wanted a family. She wanted kids. She was ready for all those things, and I guess she told him that he wanted those things, and I guess he told her he could give her those things, and they jumped right into it," she said. "My sister has a lot going for her, she has credit. She's a sweet girl. She's very kind. She's loved by everyone."

Charles was arrested Monday night.

An official cause of death is still pending.

Charles has yet to go before a judge to plead to the charge he faces, and it was unclear if he had an attorney who could comment on the allegations for him.

If you suspect domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.