WAHOO, Neb. (AP) — A 25-year-old Nebraska man pleaded not guilty in the stabbing death of his fiancee.

Kolton Barnes is charged with first-degree murder in the July 15 death of 27-year-old Kayla Matulka at their home in Malmo in Saunders County.

Investigators say Barnes killed Matulka and left her body for her two young children to find.

The family’s dog also was killed. Saunders County District Judge Christina Marroquin on Tuesday set a pretrial hearing for October and took several other motions in the case under advisement.

Malmo is a village of about 120 people about 34 miles north of Lincoln.