Virginia Beach man accused of murdering the mother of his child on Valentine’s Day

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Joseph Vincent Merlino III was arrested on Feb. 16, 2017 in connection with the Valentine's Day death of his estranged wife, Ellie Mizon Tran. (Courtesy of the Virginia Beach Police Department)
Joseph Vincent Merlino III was arrested on Feb. 16, 2017 in connection with the Valentine’s Day death of his estranged wife, Ellie Mizon Tran. (Courtesy of the Virginia Beach Police Department)

VIRGINIA BEACH — A 29-year-old Virginia Beach man is accused of murdering his wife on Valentine’s Day.

Joseph Vincent Merlino III, of the 1200 block of Warner Hall Drive, was charged with second-degree murder on Thursday in connection with the death of his estranged wife, Ellie Mizon Tran, 35, according to a Virginia Beach Police Department news release.

Tran’s family says the couple only dated and broke up in the spring of 2016.

Police say Tran dialed 911 around 8 p.m. on Tuesday to report that she’d been attacked by an unknown suspect in her driveway, located in the 1000 block of Still Meadow Court.

Tran was taken to a local hospital where she died.

Merlino is currently being held in the Virginia Beach Correctional Center without bond.

The original version of this story called Tran Merlino’s estranged wife. Tran’s family  says the couple were never married.