SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The Citrus Heights man who pleaded guilty in the 2017 murder of his wife has been sentenced to life in prison.

Michael Abeyta entered a guilty plea to second-degree murder earlier in the year.

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(credit: Placer Co. Sheriff’s Office)

Prosecutors linked Abeyta to Trang Tran’s killing after her severely decomposed body was found by hikers in early 2018 in the Auburn State Recreation Area.

Back in October 2017, before her remains were found, an off-duty police officer reported seeing Abeyta pushing his car off an embankment near where Tran’s body was discovered. Trans’ passport was found inside the car.

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Investigators say Abeyta and Tran met while they were at Central Florida University. They got married after she got pregnant, but their relationship deteriorated after Tran had a miscarriage.

Exactly how Tran was killed has never been detailed, but investigators said Abeyta decided to dump her body in the woods.

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Abeyta will now be serving a sentence of 15 years to life in prison.