updated 4/19/2006 8:02:26 PM ET 2006-04-20T00:02:26

A Mexican priest has confessed to strangling his pregnant lover after Easter Mass and cutting her body into pieces, a state attorney general said Wednesday.

Cesar Torres, 42, confessed to slaying Veronica Andrade Salinas, 22, at Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in the city of Nezahualcoyotl on Mexico City's eastern outskirts, Mexico state Attorney General Abel Villicana told a news conference.

Villicana read from a statement signed by Torres in which the priest described how he had been having an affair with Salinas and that she came to his parish residence to say she was pregnant and ask for money shortly after he had participated in Easter Mass.

The two fought, and Torres strangled his former lover to death. He then dragged the body to a nearby bathroom and, according to the statement authorities say he signed, used a kitchen knife to cut off her head and hack her body to pieces. He packed the pieces into plastic bags.

According to the confession, Torres loaded the bags into a pickup truck and dumped them near a municipal cemetery in Chimalhuiacan, which like Nezahualcoyotl is in Mexico state.

Authorities in recent weeks recovered the bodies of five other women who had been slain and dumped in Chimalhuiacan. Some of those victims had been mutilated — sparking speculation a serial killer could be working in the area.

But Villicana said the testimonies of Salias' family members led to his arrest Wednesday morning and evidence recovered around the parish helped prompt his confession.

He said Torres was scheduled to appear before a judge in coming days to be formally charged with murder.

The victim was expecting a girl at the time of her slaying. She left behind two other girls, ages 1 and 6 months.

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