Police on Thursday charged 24-year-old Bismark Lithgow of Manhattan with second-degree murder.
The victim, Francis Angelica Alfonso Pellerano, suffered multiple stab wounds to the body.
Police officers arrived at her apartment on Seventh Avenue the night of March 2 to investigate a report of a foul odor. They discovered Pellerano inside the 55-gallon container.
The couple met on the internet, and authorities said Lithgow apparently also has hearing trouble. Police said she had been planning to leave him and move to the Dominican Republic.
It wasn't immediately clear if Lithgow had an attorney.