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Illegal Alien admits murdering his pizza parlor co-worker and setting her body on fire

Guilty: Juan Jimenez-Olivera (left), an illegal immigrant from Mexico, has pleaded guilty to murder, aggravated arson, desecrating human remains and related counts in the slaying of Sviatlana Dranko (right)

By Snejana Farberov |

An illegal immigrant from Mexico has admitted to strangling a 30-year-old New Jersey woman he worked with, and setting her body and house on fire to cover up the crime.

Juan Jimenez-Olivera, 30, pleaded guilty Wednesday to murder, aggravated arson, desecrating human remains, theft and related offenses in the slaying of Sviatlana Dranko, his co-worker at a pizzeria.

Jimenez-Olivera admitted in court to strangling Dranko in April 2014 in her Hillsborough home, stealing $6,000 and lying to police about his involvement before turning himself in two days later.

Prosecutors say he put a pillow case over Dranko’s face and used a lighter to start the blaze.

In exchange for his guilty pleas, the state has agreed to drop a first-degree aggravated sexual assault charge and recommend a 30-year sentence without the possibility of parole on the murder count.

The defendant is facing an additional five-year sentence, to be served consecutively, for desecrating the victim’s remains, according to

The Hillsborough man is in the country illegally and a judge says he could be deported.


Undocumented: Jimenez-Olivera is in the country illegally and a judge says he could be deported.

Jimenez-Olivera remains in the Somerset County Jail pending his September 18 sentencing. His $1 million bail has been revoked.

On April 29, 2014, at 8.23am, police and firefighters from multiple departments responded to Dranko’s home in Bloomingdale Drive in response to calls about a fire.

Upon entering the house, first responders found Dranko dead with severe burns to her body inside a second-floor bedroom.

An investigation later determined that Dranko was dead before the fire ignited.

Jimenez-Olivera was arrested two days later after turning himself in and charged in Dranko’s death.

Detectives said the two did not have a romantic relationship and were only workplace acquaintances.

Danko’s sister and her husband were in court Wednesday to hear Jimenz-Olivera’s confession.

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