Authorities in Hudson County have made an arrest in connection with the death of 32-year-old Norelis Mendoza, a mother of two who was found dead in Bayonne on Wednesday, May 17.
Gregory Mallard, a 35-year-old man who is Mendoza’s former boyfriend, was charged with her murder.
Mallard, who had previously served 10 years in prison for aggravated manslaughter, is also facing multiple other charges related to the case.
Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez announced the charges on Friday, May 19.
Mallard is accused of murder, unlawful possession of a weapon (vehicle), possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose (vehicle), failing to dispose of human remains in a manner prescribed by law, desecration of human remains, hindering, and tampering with physical evidence.
Norelis Mendoza, a resident of Lindenwold, was reported missing on Sunday, May 14.
She was last seen at her mother’s home on Saturday night, according to reports. The discovery of her body near the Jersey City border prompted a joint investigation involving the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide Unit, Jersey City Police Department, Bayonne Police Department, and New Jersey State Police.
Mendoza’s cousin, Geovanni Molina, expressed a mixture of relief and grief, saying, “Nothing can bring Norelis back, but there is an amazing sense of relief. The family would like to thank all the law enforcement agencies involved, especially the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, which did an amazing job.”
Molina said that Mallard had faced domestic violence charges involving his cousin earlier this year.
Mendoza had reportedly filed for a restraining order against Mallard, who was the father of her two children, a 1-year-old and a 3-year-old.
Mallard, a reputed member of the 52 Hoover Street Crips gang, had previously been charged in a 2008 murder and was incarcerated from February 2009 until June 2020.
Authorities have not disclosed the details surrounding Mendoza’s cause of death.
Gregory Mallard is currently in custody in Somerset County. The investigation into the case is ongoing, and no further information has been released at this time.
Prosecutor Suarez commended the collaborative efforts of the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide Unit, Jersey City Police Department, New Jersey State Police, Bayonne Police Department, and other state and local law enforcement agencies for their work on the investigation and subsequent arrest.
Individuals with any information related to the case are urged to contact the Office of the Hudson County Prosecutor at 201-915-1345 or submit an anonymous tip through the official website: https://www.hudsoncountyprosecutorsofficenj.org/homicide-tip/. All provided information will be kept confidential.
It is important to note that the charges against Mallard are accusations, and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
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