Two children orphaned in murder-suicide

Two children in New Jersey have been left orphaned after their mother was stabbed to death by their father in a murder-suicide in Old Bridge.

Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone said in a statement that the perpetrator and the victim were a “former couple” in a joint statement issued alongside the local police chief.

Juan Alvarado, 39, of Elizabeth, repeatedly stabbed his ex-girlfriend Yajaira Moreno, 33, of Old Bridge in Old Bridge on Tuesday, August 10, 2021, at around 11:17 p.m.

After slaying Moreno, Alvarado used the knife to kill himself just a few steps away.

In the minutes just before midnight, Old Bridge Police went to the Moreno home on Jacob Street in the northern section of the medium-sized township to respond to reports of a homicide there.

After entering the house, officers found the mother of two dead.

She had been fatally stabbed numerous times. Close to her corpse was the body of Alvarado, who stabbed himself to death.

Both Moreno and Alvarado were pronounced dead at the scene.

The couple left behind two children, an eight-year-old and an 11-year-old.

Family members are scrambling to make sure that at least Moreno’s funeral expenses are taken care of in light of the monumental loss.

“A victim of senseless, violent and ultimately fatal domestic abuse, our Yajaira met the same fate that tens of thousands of women meet every single day,” her cousin Bismark Montiel wrote on a GoFundMe page. “It was too late for her. But it isn’t too late to give her a proper burial.”

“In the next 2 weeks, our family will be burying our sweet, intelligent and lovely cousin,” Monteil said. “We will also be fighting tooth and nail to keep custody of my niece and nephew. All monies will be used to cover funeral and legal expenses in the legal battle for custody. Any extra funds raised will be given to her children for their safety and security. Help a grieving family. Help us. Help her son and daughter. All it takes is the click of a few buttons and few seconds of your time to make a donation and help put Yajaira to rest, knowing that her children are safe and sound, even if she couldn’t live to see it.”

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, a person is physically abused by their intimate partner every 20 minutes in the United States. The group notes that 72% of all murder-suicides in the country involve someone’s intimate partner and that women are the victims of such murder suicides more than 90 percent of the time.

Almost three women are killed per day by their partners, according to NBC News.

The fundraiser also notes that the murderer was the children’s father.

Authorities have released scant details about the incident thus far.

“At present, the deaths are believed to be the result of an apparent murder-suicide,” Ciccone said in a statement.

The prosecutor and Old Bridge Police Acting Chief Joseph Mandola are, however, asking the public for help.

“The investigation is active and continuing,” their joint statement continues. “Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Addie Spinola of the Old Bridge Police Department at (732) 721-4000, or Detective Paul Kelley of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-3330.”

Alvarado’s obituary reads in part:

Juan was an electrician by trade and was passionate about his job. When Juan wasn’t working, spending time with his loving family was his priority. He enjoyed traveling, eating, and enjoying life on his Harley Davidson motorcycle. Other hobbies include watching soccer and baseball. Juan will be missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him.

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