Colorado woman’s remains found under veteran’s grave

A Denver, Colorado man pleaded guilty Friday to killing his estranged wife more than two decades ago, and led authorities to her body, which was buried under the grave of a World War II veteran.

As reported by USA Today, 52-year-old John Sandoval pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 25 years in prison for the 1995 death of Kristina Tournai-Sandoval.

As part of a plea deal, he told investigators on March 22 that Tournai-Sandoval’s remains were buried at a cemetery.

Sandoval told authorities he found an open gravesite early Oct. 20, 1995 that was scheduled for a burial that afternoon. Prosecutors said he dug about 2 feet  below the grave and buried Tournai-Sandoval’s body, which was wrapped in several layers of industrial-grade plastic.

Cemetery workers then unknowingly buried the veteran over her remains.

Sandoval was convicted in 2010 of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison for the case, but an appeals court overturned his conviction last year. It was ruled that a judge wrongfully allowed evidence that Sandoval stalked other women, as well as expert testimony correlating stalkers with murderers.

Prosecutors had been preparing for a new trial since Sandoval acknowledged knowing the location of his wife’s remains.