HILLSBOROUGH - The co-worker of a woman who was found dead inside a burning townhome in Hillsborough faced a judge Friday, charged with her murder.
Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey Soriano says 29-year-old Juan Jimenez-Olivera was arrested in connection to the death of 30-year-old Sviatlana Dranko.
Members of Dranko's family attended the arraignment but did not speak.
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Firefighters found the woman's body on the second floor of the Bloomingdale Drive home she shared with her sister's family on Tuesday.
Investigators determined that the fire was intentionally set and that Dranko was killed before the blaze was started, Soriano said.
Employees at Roman Gourmet in Hillsborough say the victim and her accused killer worked there.
Jimenez-Olivera has been charged with homicide and aggravated arson. Prosecutors say he is in the country illegally. The judge said the crime would ultimately lead to the suspect's deportation.
Police did not release a motive for the killing.
Jimenez-Olivera is being held on $1 million cash bail.