NEWS
09/25/2011 07:21 EDT | Updated 11/25/2011 05:12 EST

Husband Charged After Montreal Woman's Body Found

AP

A New Jersey man has been charged with killing his wife — a Montreal woman — after police discovered her remains in a 55-gallon concrete-filled drum in the apartment building where they once lived.

Prosecutors say Steven Acuna faces murder charges after police found the remains of Randy "Amanda" Lehrer on Friday in the basement of a Jersey City building where she lived with her husband and infant daughter.

About 200 people gathered Saturday evening for a candlelight vigil held outside the apartment building.

Lehrer, 32, originally from the Côte St-Luc area, was living in Jersey City and was last seen Aug. 12 leaving her job at a restaurant. Her daughter was 10 months old at the time of her disappearance.

Lehrer's mother, Rose Moncarz, told CBC News that police initially identified her daughter by her tattoos.

Police say Lehrer's husband reported her missing on Aug. 17 and that Acuna said she left following an argument.

Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio says Acuna relocated to Toms River, N.J., south of Jersey City, after his wife disappeared.

Acuna is being held in lieu of $1 million bail, officials say.

About 200 people gathered Saturday evening for a candlelight vigil held outside the apartment building.

A Facebook group was created Saturday to raise money to help bring Lehrer's body back to Montreal for a funeral and pay for legal fees that would return her child to the city.

"I hope they bring that baby to Canada," a woman who identified herself as Amie Scarola wrote on Facebook.

"At least they will always let her know who her mom is (and) how much she loves (and) cares about her."