Woman buried in Oklahoma City backyard died of strangulation

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Authorities say a 31-year-old Oklahoma City woman whose body was found buried in her boyfriend’s yard in June had been strangled.

The state medical examiner said Wednesday that Jacalyn Elizabeth Russell had ligature marks on her wrists and neck. Prosecutors allege that her boyfriend, 36-year-old Jimmy Vongphakdy, strangled her with his hands.

Russell’s body was found June 6 in Vongphakdy’s backyard in a shallow grave that was covered in tires.

Vongphakdy has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.

Authorities say witnesses saw a body inside the home on June 4 and that it was buried out back the next day. They allege that Vongphakdy told detectives he had no idea that a body was buried there.

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