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Body found in concrete-filled drum is missing NJ mom, family says

Image: Crime scene in New Jersey
Police in Jersey City, N.J., on Friday investigate the discovery of a body in a cement-filled, 55-gallon drum in the apartment building where Randy "Amanda" Lehrer, 32, lived before she was reported missing in August.Lauren Casselberry / The Jersey Journal via AP
/ Source: staff and news service reports

Human remains found in a concrete-filled drum in a New Jersey home belong to a mother who vanished Aug. 17 after a fight with her husband, her family said Saturday.

The 55-gallon drum was found Friday in the basement of a Jersey City building where Randy "Amanda" Lehrer, 32, lived with her husband and 11-month-old daughter, NBC station WNBC reported.

A family member in Montreal, the mother's original home, told news service QMI Agency in Canada that Jersey City police said Lehrer’s husband, Steven Acuna, had been arrested on suspicion of murder.

Authorities told WNBC that Acuna was being held in Hudson County jail on $1 million bail.

The family said they know the remains belong to Lehrer because police identified her body by a tattoo. Family members told QMI Agency they would travel to New Jersey on Sunday to identify the body.

Acuna reported Lehrer missing Aug. 17 after an argument.

Jersey City Police Chief Tom Comey said Lehrer didn't miss a day of work in three years at a Jersey City restaurant two blocks from her home except to take maternity leave.

Witnesses told WNBC that the couple had an argument on the sidewalk.

"Her husband was waiting for her on the corner with their baby. He just left the kid and the stroller here and went chasing after her. I didn't see what happened but he came back, got the baby and left," said Paul Watroba, who spoke to NBC New York in August.
Lehrer's boss, Andreas Diakos, said Acuna called  the restaurant three days after the argument to say she went to visit her sick mother in Canada, and would not be coming to work.
But Diakos said Lehrer's sister later told him their mother wasn't sick.
"He lied to me," said Diakos.

A candlelight vigil was being held outside Lehrer's apartment Saturday evening.

A family member told QMI Agency that two weeks before going missing, Lehrer visited Montreal to show the family her new baby.

Lehrer’s family also said they were "completely surprised" by the news she had gone missing because they had never suspected anything was wrong.

"If (her husband) is the guy who did it ... there isn’t enough justice in the world," a family member said. "Whatever he gets is not enough."