Police found the body of Pamela Jean, 27, on Jan. 4 in a home where Juan Fermin Palma lived on Hôtel-de-Ville Avenue in Montreal North.
Palma's lawyer, Valerie Acosta, said there had been two previous domestic violence charges against him but they had been withdrawn at Jean's request because she did not want to testify.
According to Const. Simon Delorme, the woman had been in a relationship with Palma.
The 32-year-old male suspect was known to police, he said.
Jean's family had reported her missing last week.She was last seen on Dec. 30 in downtown Montreal, where she went to shop.
Police have not yet confirmed the cause of death.
Palma is set to appear in court on Feb. 4. He was ordered not to be in contact with members of Jean's family.This case is Montreal's first homicide of the year.