Guillermo Alfonso Alvarado-Ajcuc of Riverhead was arrested Wednesday, charged with one count of second-degree murder in Mirian Garcia's death. The body of Garcia, 29, was found May 7 at the edge of the parking lot at the Riverhead Shopping Center, 200 Old Country Rd.
Alvarado-Ajcuc was arraigned Thursday in Riverhead Town Court. He was ordered held without bail, pending his next court appearance Tuesday.
Police did not say whether Alvarado-Ajcuc knew the victim and didn't disclose a motive or say how she was killed.
Earlier this month, friends and relatives of Garcia's said she was an avid soccer player, a local disc jockey and a young woman who had helped hold together a family already dealing with a premature death.
Marta Mansilla of Riverhead told Newsday her daughter "was like a second mother" to the three children of her sister. One, less than a year old, died of an illness in February.
Speaking through a translator, Mansilla said: "She had many friends and touched the lives of many people."
After the killing, "the house has been full with all the people she knew from work, from sports and from her life," Mansilla told Newsday.
Garcia's body was found by an employee coming to work, who then called Riverhead police. "There were no obvious signs of violence," Det. Lt. Jack Fitzpatrick of the Suffolk police said earlier this month.
A native of Guatemala, Garcia was found not far from Sabor Latina, a night spot where she enjoyed disc jockeying, said a family spokesman and translator, Nicholas Newton of Riverhead.
Garcia, also known as Mirian Yohanna Garcia Mansilla and called Yohanna by her friends, worked at Larry's Lighthouse Marina in Aquebogue doing general boat repair and maintenance, Newton said.
Newton said she was an avid soccer player on a women's team in Cutchogue. She also was interested in martial arts, first training in karate in Guatemala.