Matt and Dominique Leili had been married for 13 years at the time that Dominique, who went by Nique, disappeared from their home in Lawrenceville, Georgia.
The year was 2011, and Matt had told authorities that his wife intentionally left their home. Eight days after her disappearance, Nique’s nude body was found decomposed in the woods. Her cause of death is still unclear.
Here’s what you need to know about Nique Leili’s murder case:
1. A Jury Found Matt Leili Guilty of His Wife’s Murder
In early 2016, four years after Nique’s disappearance, Matt Leili was found guilty of murdering his wife. He was convicted and sentenced to life without parole.
Matt was named a suspect in the case after Nique’s decomposing body was found, however, it wasn’t until March 2015 that he was charged with her death.
A jury deliberated over the case for three hours before finding him guilty of Nique’s murder. After his sentence was read aloud, Matt reportedly told the court, “I’m innocent. I will be filing an appeal.”
2. His Daughters Have Consistently Said He Is Innocent
Matt’s daughters, Amanda and Rebecca Leili, have consistently argued that their father is innocent.
In April 2015, they even recorded a video “backing their father and insisting the parents were a happy couple.”
“We just want our dad home. That’s where he needs to be,” one sister says. The other echoes her sentiments. “I miss him being there and his stupid jokes and waking us up in the morning with pots.”
Even though the girls supported their father, friends and other members of the family stated that the couple had an unhappy marriage. A 911 call obtained by authorities shows Nique telling a dispatcher that Matt would not let her leave the house.
3. He Filed for Divorce Two Days After Reporting Her Missing
Matt reported his wife missing two days after her disappearance, on July 8, 2011. Two days after that, he filed for divorce from his wife, saying that Nique had “deserted” her family, reports AJC.
In February 2012, he and his two daughters moved to Vermont, at which point he cut off all communication with Nique’s family.
4. Matthew Installed 21 Surveillance Cameras Around the Family’s Home to ‘Capture His Fights’ with His Wife
ABC describes Matthew’s house at the time of Nique’s disappearance as one “the military would be jealous of.”
He worked in the security system business and installed 21 surveillance cameras and audio recorders in various areas of the home in an attempt to capture his fights with his wife. He claimed that Nique was “going crazy” and wanted the proof.
According to ABC, the couple’s arguments were recorded on 500,000 audio recordings, and it took investigators over a year and a half to listen to them all. Two things they did learn from the recordings was that the couple was $300,000 in debt and that their marriage was falling apart.
Authorities later learned that the surveillance footage from the hours that Nique went missing had been mysteriously deleted, according to ABC News.
Nique’s family has always held that Matt is responsible for her death. Speaking to 20/20, Amy Robinson, Nique’s sister, said, “”[I have] no idea what she saw in him.”
5. His Ex-Wife Testified That Matt Got Physical with Her at Times
At one point during the trial, Matt’s ex-wife took the stand in a strange testimony. Not only did she say on multiple occasions that she thought he had “beautiful eyes”, but those present in the courtroom said that she seemed to be flirting with him.
Eventually, however, the former wife of Matt Leili delivered news that did not work in his favor when she revealed that Matt used to “get rough with her.” “He liked to push me down to the ground and pin ya down. I’m not a very strong person so, you know, I was easy to pin down.”
Another witness who certainly had an effect on juror’s opinions of Matt was Alex Peters, Nique’s daughter, who moved out at 16 because she said she “didn’t like Matt and the cameras made her uneasy.” She testified that “there were several nights where I would lay up and hear her say ‘please get off’, ‘you’re hurting me.'”