Oscar Albert Lozada pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a second-degree murder charge alleging he killed his wife, a Brusly High School foreign language teacher who disappeared in 2011.

Lozada was on the lam for more than seven years before his arrest last fall in the death of Sylviane Finck Lozada. The woman's blood was found on the ceiling and walls of the family's garage, but a body has never been found. 

Lozada, 43, was shackled and wore an orange prison jumpsuit at his arraignment before state District Judge Trudy White. East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office Maj. Todd Morris, who spent the past several years tracking the man, sat in the front row of White’s courtroom during the brief court proceeding.

Lozada fled to his home country of Venezuela with the couple’s young daughter after Sylviane Lozada vanished from their Baton Rouge home off Bluebonnet Boulevard. He was arrested in Mexico in September and indicted this month by an East Baton Rouge Parish grand jury.

Lozada, with assistant public defender Lyn Legier on his left and prosecutor Dana Cummings on his right, entered a not guilty plea on Legier’s advice. Legier declined to comment afterward.

The judge asked for Lozada’s address, but he said he doesn’t have one. The indictment lists his address as 2234 Spring Lake Drive in Baton Rouge, where the couple lived at the time of Sylviane Lozada’s disappearance.

Sheriff Sid Gautreaux said in early October that Lozada had confessed to killing his wife of six years in July 2011. Since his return to the United States, the Sheriff’s Office has conducted searches of waterways along Interstate 10 between Baton Rouge and New Orleans with the hope of finding Sylviane Lozada's body.

Oscar Lozada’s next court date is April 15. White is scheduled to hear any motions filed in the case then.

Sylviane Lozada’s death followed years of documented domestic abuse at the hands of her husband, authorities have said.

The woman’s family last heard from her on July 5, 2011, his arrest warrant states. The next day, Oscar Lozada bought two round trip tickets to Caracas, Venezuela, and also went to a home improvement store with his then-4-year-old daughter, Angelina, and purchased 15 bags of concrete mix and nine 5-gallon buckets with lids and luggage locks, the warrant says. He returned to the store the following day and bought six large plastic bins.

Angelina is now 12 and living with her mother's family in Belgium, which was her mother's home country.

A second-degree murder conviction would carry a mandatory sentence of life in prison for Lozada.

Follow Joe Gyan Jr. on Twitter, @JoeGyanJr.