Cops Search Sea for Missing UNH Student, Believed Strangled

PHOTO: Local police block off the bridge leading to Peirce Island in Portsmouth, N.H., where officials search for a body, believed to be that of missing UNH student Elizabeth "Lizzi" Marriott, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012.
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A New Hampshire martial arts instructor was held without bail today, accused of strangling or suffocating college sophomore Elizabeth Marriott, whose body remains missing, and which authorities believe was dumped at sea.

Seth Mazzaglia, 29, of Dover, N.H., appeared in court via video conference today to be charged with second degree murder.

"You caused the death of Elizabeth Marriott," Judge Stephen Morrison read in a description of the case. "The circumstances that manifested in an extreme indifference to human life by strangling her and/or suffocating her."

Marriott, a 19-year-old marine biology major at the University of New Hampshire, was last heard from Tuesday, Oct. 9.

Her body has yet to be discovered and authorities have not yet disclosed how they know the cause of death.

Authorities said Marriott knew Mazzaglia and believed her body had been deposited in the murky, choppy waters near Pierce Island, N.H.

"Marine patrol continues to search the waters, specifically looking at Lookout Point at Peirce Island. Given the eddies and current, there have been many challenges. The search may last several more days. They have not exhausted that search," Associate Attorney General Jane Young told reporters following today's hearing.

Young said investigators were using sonar and underwater cameras, as well as cadaver dogs, to search the water and along the coast.

"I can tell you [Marriott and Mazzaglia] were familiar with one another and this was not a random incident," she said.

Mazzaglia did not enter a plea, and is next expected in court on Oct. 29 for a probable cause hearing.

"She was a very good student with a pleasant personality," Anthony Hanna, Marriott's uncle told ABC News, soon after her disappearance.

"She volunteered at the aquarium and wanted to be a marine biologist. She's a sweet kid and a very pretty girl with a lot of enthusiasm and was excited about earning her degree," said Hanna, with whom she lived while she was attending school.

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