Jean J. Pierre, 50, of Montgomery Village, was sentenced Friday to 40 years in prison, the maximum penalty for the second-degree murder, for killing his wife, Nerlande Foreste, 41, in 2019.
Her body has never been found.
State’s Attorney John McCarthy said during a press conference that this is only the third time in Montgomery County that someone has been convicted of murder without the body being found. He said that this has made Foreste’s death so much harder for the family.
“They’ve been robbed of the ability to have closure,” McCarthy said. The reason that Pierre was caught even though there was no body: efforts of his biological daughter, Foreste’s stepdaughter.
His daughter wishes to remain anonymous, said Lauren DeMarco, Director of Public Affairs for the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office.
McCarthy emphasized her bravery and strength but also her resilience.
She and her father were impacted by the Haiti earthquake when she was young. She lost her leg in the rubble of the earthquake. She lost her mother and her siblings. Her father brought her to the United States for a better life, DeMarco said.
When Pierre married Foreste and integrated into their lives, his daughter finally had a mother figure. She had a loving relationship with her stepmom, McCarthy said.
That was until Aug. 21, 2019. Pierre stabbed and killed his wife inside their home on the 20000 block of Rothbury Lane in Montgomery Village and then put her body into a shipping container and carried it out to a dumpster, according to the State’s Attorney’s Office.
Foreste’s remains have still not been recovered and likely will never be, McCarthy said.
Sam Foreste, Nerlande Foreste’s brother, had one word to describe Pierre during a press conference: selfish.
“This man had one job, and only one job, to take care of his daughter after her mother passed, and the earthquake, and now the second woman that she called mother, he took that away from her,” Sam Foreste said.
Pierre disposed of the evidence, but his daughter knew something was going on, McCarthy said.
“She kept pushing her father, asking him about the whereabouts of Nerlande. Ultimately, she pushed him and urged him to report the matter to the police after she disappeared on August 21. Three days later, he went to the police,” McCarthy said.
Then, the police began investigating. They tested the blood spatter on the walls of the home. Through comparing the blood to the DNA of Foreste’s brother and sister, they confirmed it was her blood, McCarthy said.
Other clues pointed to the fact that she did not leave voluntarily.
“This was a good and loved women who literally talked to her family members almost every single day, if not multiple times in a given day. Those communications stop after August 21,” McCarthy said.
Another clue: Foreste would never leave certain things at home, like her wigs. She would never leave the house without a wig on, and all of them were at home, according to McCarthy.
“In the glove compartment of the car, we found her purse, her driver’s license, cell phone and other personal items that she would never have left home without,” McCarthy said.
The motive for murdering his wife: a failed marriage.
“This was a marriage that was falling apart. This was not a good and healthy relationship,” McCarthy said. “It appeared…that he was at some level involved with multiple other women, at least based on the text messages reflected on his phone.”
However, “When she disappeared, he pretended that she left him for another man despite a mound of evidence to the contrary,” according to the state’s sentencing memorandum.
Even though a judge sentenced Pierre to 40 years in prison, Sam Foreste said he does not feel justice has been served. This is because nothing can bring his sister back.
“The hurt, the sorrow, the pain; that’s never going to go away,” Sam Foreste said. “Her presence, her Thanksgiving dinners, Christmas; we will be missing her forever.”
Pierre’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday afternoon.
If MoCo360 keeps you informed, connected and inspired, circle up and join our community by becoming a member today. Your membership supports our community journalism and unlocks special benefits.