Bronx man sentenced 25 to life for murdering sleeping girlfriend


Miguel Bonilla, 49, confessed he stabbed Juana Alvarez, 52, to death in the apartment they shared in July 2016, taking a break from his gory work to listen to music before he continued the bloody knifing.

“I f—ing hate her,” Bonilla thought beforehand, he told police in a videotaped confession.

He kept her body in a closet as it decomposed, then bundled her, put her in a shopping cart and rolled her to a Dumpster down the street. Investigators searched a landfill upstate, but never found her body —though his confession, traces of her blood in the apartment, and video of him pushing a shopping cart dripping with blood gave detectives what they needed to solve the case.

Alvarez walked her dog every day outside her building, but that routine ended July 27, 2016. By Aug. 7, she was reported missing. And on Aug. 22, Bonilla was arrested for fare evasion and admitted the chilling details of her slaying.

Even so, he took the case to a jury, which found him guilty of murder on Jan. 31, and on Monday, Bronx Supreme Court Justice Margaret Clancy sentenced him to 25 years to life.

“We will never have any closure. No body to bury. No grave to visit on birthdays and holidays, not even ashes to pray to, as she would have wanted,” Alvarez’s sister, Iris Alvarez, said in an emotional victim impact statement.

“This has changed our lives forever because I personally was the closest to my sister. I struggle to make sense of how someone can be so violent and do this to my sister. I’m so angry, but I try not to show it. My grief is unbearable! My best friend is gone forever.

She added that their mother died waiting for justice to be done.

“Because of you, I will never see my sister again, and my mom will never see this day. She used to attend your court dates, in the beginning of all of this, in hopes of finding out the truth of what happened to her daughter,” Iris Alvarez said.

“You killed both of them. You may have killed Juana physically, but you killed my mother emotionally.”

Iris Alvarez, who referred to her sister as “My Cinco de Mayo,” said she had a “gut feeling” that Bonilla had something to do with her disappearance.

“On the day you killed her I felt something wrong happened, because I had bad headaches and chest pains. But I couldn’t understand why,” she said.

“The days just went by and my chest felt so heavy and it just didn’t go away until I got that call she was missing. At that moment, I understood the pains and headaches.”

“The defendant killed his girlfriend and disposed of her body like garbage,” Bronx D.A. Darcel Clark said.

“Although her remains were never recovered, a jury listened to the facts of the case and found the defendant guilty. I hope this sentence brings some solace to the victim’s family.”

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