On May 14, Jersey City Police received a missing person report for 32-year-old Norelis Mendoza of Lindenwold. Mendoza was last seen in Jersey City on May 13, investigators said.
On Wednesday, investigators found Mendoza’s body off Route 440 and Avenue C near the border of Jersey City and Bayonne, New Jersey. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Mendoza leaves behind a 1-year-old and 3-year-old.
Family members put up missing person posters and messages across social media asking for help in locating Mendoza. They said her bright smiles left an indelible impression on everyone she knew.
The family thinks Mendoza is the victim of domestic violence and they believe the father of the children has some involvement in her disappearance and murder.
They say the body was discovered near his home and he had a history of violence and a restraining order.
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.
Mallard has a violent past, having previously served 10 years for aggravated manslaughter, NJ.com reported.
Mendoza leaves behind two daughters, ages 1 and 3, according to a GoFundMe page created to help offset funeral costs.
The Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide Unit and the Jersey City police are urging anyone with information to call 201-915-1345 or leave an anonymous tip online.
Credit: Fox News, People, ABC, New Jersey