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DA: Husband strangled wife in Tonawanda killing

A 50-year-old man accused of killing his wife strangled her to death, the Erie County District Attorney's Office said Wednesday morning.

Jose Ruiz Jr. was arraigned on a charge of first-degree manslaughter Tuesday in Tonawanda Town Court.

Ruiz was taken into custody late Monday after the body of his wife, Mavilie Ruiz, 59, was found in their Town of Tonawanda home.

Officers responding on a welfare check at about 9:20 p.m. Monday at 41 Tillotson Place, off Englewood Avenue north of Kenmore Avenue, found a person dead in circumstances that police described as suspicious in an initial news release.

While no one else was found in the home at the time police arrived, an individual was located a short time later at an undisclosed location, police said.

Town police later reported that Jose Ruiz Jr. was charged in the death of his wife. Police did not say how Mavilie Ruiz died but a spokeswoman for the DA's office said the cause of death was manual strangulation.

Kait Munro said she didn't know what precipitated the killing and said the charge of manslaughter, instead of murder, is based on the information prosecutors have at this time.

Ruiz, dressed in a blue prison jumpsuit, sat in the Town of Tonawanda courtroom Monday evening with his head bowed until he was called to the bench for his arraignment proceedings.

Town Justice J. Mark Gruber ordered that Ruiz be remanded to the Erie County Holding Center, where he will be held without bail. Gruber, who set a felony hearing for 11:30 a.m. Monday, noted that Ruiz has prior felony convictions.

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