A New Jersey man was charged Friday in the death of a woman reported missing Sunday and whose body was later found off a highway in Bayonne, officials said.
Gregory Mallard, 35, was charged with first-degree murder, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and multiple other charges, the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office said in a release.
Norelis Mendoza, 32, was last seen a week ago at her mom’s home in New Jersey. Her body was found by authorities Wednesday in a wooded area off Route 440 near the Jersey City border.
Her death is being investigated as domestic violence.
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Mallard has a violent past, having previously served 10 years for aggravated manslaughter, NJ.com reported.
Mendoza’s cousin Geovanni Molina told WCBS-TV her murder is a “nightmare. Absolutely devastated.”
Molina also revealed that she was a mother of two.
“A 3-year-old and a 1-year-old, they don’t get to see their mother anymore,” Molina said. “They didn’t get to spend Mother’s Day with their mom.”
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Mendoza’s cause of death hasn’t been revealed.