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Man arrested in missing woman's death extradited to Orange County from Puerto Rico

Christian Penchi charged with first-degree murder

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A man arrested in connection with the death of his on-again, off-again girlfriend who was reported missing late last month has been extradited to Central Florida from Puerto Rico.

He had his first appearance before a judge Friday and was denied bond.

Records show that Christian Valentin Penchi was booked into the Orange County Jail on Thursday. He was arrested April 7 in Puerto Rico, a day after the body of Vanessa Jessica Cocly was found in a home at the Sandlake Courtyard Condominiums near South Orange Blossom Trail and Sand Lake Road in Orlando.

Officials at the Orange County Sheriff's Office have not released information about Cocly's cause of death or why Penchi has been charged with her death. Deputies did note that Penchi lived at the condominium complex where Cocly was found.

A public defender argued Friday that the state did not have enough proof to deny bond.

"There is no material witness even alleged to have given a sworn statement," he said. "We would argue the defendant is eligible for pretrial release on reasonable conditions."

Cocly, 23, had been missing since March 31, when she failed to show up to her new job or return messages from friends and family.

In addition to the first-degree murder charge, Penchi is also charged with dealing in stolen property, grand theft and giving false information to a pawn broker.

Deputies said Cocly stole three floor and granite polishers from his former employer and pawned them.


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