The ex-boyfriend, Gregory Mallard, has already served more than 10 years in jail for aggravated manslaughter for shooting a 19-year-old
Trigger warning: This article mentions domestic abuse, intimate partner violence, and gun violence which some readers may find distressing.
A murder suspect has been detained by authorities in connection with the death of a mother from New Jersey, whose body was discovered along a highway days after her agony-filled family reported her missing on Mother's Day.
Gregory Mallard, 35, of Jersey City, has been charged with first-degree murder, illegal possession of a weapon, failing to properly dispose of human remains, and other related offenses in connection with the death of Norelis Mendoza, 32, according to a press release from the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office, per PEOPLE. He is being detained in Somerset County.
Gregory Mallard, the ex-boyfriend of a Camden County woman, Norelis Mendoza, and the father of her two children — who served 10 years in prison for aggravated manslaughter — has been charged with murdering her, Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez - @HCPOProsecutor said Friday… pic.twitter.com/qptYGEvTY0— Eddie Tarazona (@EddieTarazonaFL) May 21, 2023
Family members tell CBS2 that Mallard is the father of both of Mendoza's young daughters aged 1 and 3 years. Although information about Mallard's arrest on May 19 is still lacking, the prosecutor's office has stated that the incident is being looked at "as an act of domestic violence".
"Nothing can bring Norelis back, but there is an amazing sense of relief," said her cousin, Geovanni Molina, after Mallard's arrest, according to the news outlet. "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 of the victim, "She had a heart of gold. She always gave people her best."
Gregory Mallard is also facing weapons charges related to the death of Norelis Mendoza, 32. https://t.co/7USXnqqSlq— PhillyVoice (@thephillyvoice) May 20, 2023
The suspect, a 52 Hoover Street Crips gang member, had already served more than 10 years in jail for aggravated manslaughter in the shooting of a 19-year-old man in 2008 following an argument between rivals.
Authorities discovered that Mendoza left her house late on May 13 after going out with Mallard, NJ.com reported. Mendoza was aware of Mallard's aggressive past, according to Molina. He stated that the ex was charged with domestic abuse against Mendoza earlier this year and that he believed she filed for a restraining order against him but was unsure if it was still in effect.
A GoFundMe set up to help with the family's expenses described Mendoza as a mother who does everything for her children. "The family is finding solace that she is now with God. Our beloved Norelis found passion in helping others and dedicated her career to the medical field. Her smile was infectious. She was a beacon of light and would help anyone she could," a relative wrote.
"We are left with her beautiful daughters and will raise them with her legacy of love and kindness. … She enjoyed being a mom and did everything for her daughters," the post states. "Mother's Day is a joyous time to celebrate and her girls and family will forever live through the pain of what happened on this day," it adds.
Murder Charge Filed Against Suspect in Tragic Death of Beloved Lindenwold Mother Norelis Mendoza pic.twitter.com/GjOclcjIWz— The Jupyter Times (@JupyterTimes) May 20, 2023
Cover Image Source: Jersey City Police