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Man Gets 34 Years For Killing Girlfriend, Hiding Body

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A St. Paul man has been sentenced to nearly 34 years in prison for killing his girlfriend and hiding her body.

In October, 32-year-old Corey Dean Thomas pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree murder with intent in connection to the Oct. 17, 2011 death of Megan Neely.

Neely was missing for several days before her body was found. Family members notified police, saying they were worried when she didn't show up for a gathering. They told investigators that Neely had been planning to break up with Thomas and "expected drama."

Police found Neely dead at her St. Paul apartment. Officers found her body in a crawl space. It was determined that she had been strangled.

Thomas had sold his car and boarded a bus for a one-way trip to Miami, a parole violation. Local police arrested him and questioned him in the murder. Authorities in Miami noted he had scratches on his neck, but he denied they came from Neely and said they were a workplace injury. His manager denied that any injury took place.

On Tuesday, Thomas was sentenced to 406 months in prison, the maximum allowable sentence under his plea agreement.

"Although it will not bring the victim back to her family, we are pleased with the judge's sentence in this case," Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said. "A daughter, sister and a mother was tragically taken from our community as a result of the defendant's actions."

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