A Queens man was held without bail on Thursday after being accused of burning his girlfriend to death inside the apartment they shared, authorities said.
Carlos Leon Pineda, 27, was arraigned on a charge of second-degree arson, according to the criminal complaint. While police initially charged Pineda with second-degree murder, reckless endangerment and tampering with physical evidence as well, a law enforcement official said the investigation was still ongoing.
His girlfriend, 28-year-old Miriam Velez-Samayoa, was found dead in the bathtub of the apartmen on Oct. 17, according to court records. She was "severely burned" and had injuries to her neck and arms as well.
Investigators allege Pineda used an accelerant to start the fire, and was seen walking into the building with a “red container, commonly used to hold gasoline,” according to court records. He then apparently left the building just before 911 was called.
Other roommates were in the apartment at the time of the fire.
Pineda, who had been wanted for questioning, was apprehended in Miami last month. An attorney for Pineda did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
His next court appearance is scheduled for Dec. 18.