Ex-Navy man accused of killing wife pleads not guilty

SAN DIEGO -- A former Navy man whose wife's decomposing body was found in San Diego Bay in 2016 pleaded not guilty to a murder charge on Wednesday.

Matthew Scott Sullivan, 32, is accused of fatally stabbing 31-year-old Elizabeth Sullivan.

Her body was discovered in the bay after she had been missing for two years.

Sullivan was arrested last month at his home in Delaware and extradited to San Diego. He was ordered held on $2 million bail.

San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan said the victim -- a mother of two young children -- was in an abusive relationship with her husband and was the process of leaving him when she was killed in October 2014.

Stephan alleged that the defendant hid the body somewhere for years until it was discovered in the water near the couple's Liberty Station home on the day movers were at the home. Matthew Sullivan left the Navy and ultimately moved to Delaware where he started a new life and was in a new relationship, prosecutors said.

After the defendant moved out of the Liberty Station home, a bloody knife with the victim's blood on it was found in the attic and blood was located under the carpet, prosecutors said.

The defendant faces 26 years to life in prison if convicted. He will be back in court March 1 for a status conference.