"This has been a senseless act of violence and her girls have been ripped from having their mom on this earth with them," a fundraiser for Norelis Mendoza reads.
A New Jersey mother who went missing on Mother's Day was found dead near a roadway, leaving behind 2 grieving toddlers.
The Hudson County Prosecutor's Office reported on May 17 that the death of Lindenwold resident Norelis Mendoza, 32, is being examined as suspicious. Mendoza's body was discovered off Route 440 in Bayonne, near the Jersey City border, according to a news release from the prosecutor's office. She was declared deceased on the spot.
Unfortunately, as many suspected, Norelis Mendoza, 32, the woman that went missing in #JerseyCity on Saturday, was found dead off Route 440 in #Bayonne this morning.— John Heinis (@HeinisHardNews) May 17, 2023
The death is considered suspicious at this time, per the @HCPOProsecutor.https://t.co/YbdJMzHKCS
Her cause and manner of death are still being investigated by the regional medical examiner's office. "We've been searching the area looking for any signs anybody had seen her. She left her mom's residence on Saturday, May 13, which was the last contact for the family. She called her phone and it didn’t go through," said Giovanni Molina, Mendoza's cousin, in an interview with NBC 10 Philadelphia. "It’s devastating because of the amount of time, especially...That gave four days of agony, meaning that we had no idea where Norelis could possibly be," Molina said.
Her death is being investigated as suspicious, per PEOPLE. The authorities haven't determined the reason or method of death yet, and are asking for tips. Her family is desperate for answers. "Norelis was a loving mother, somebody that would never leave their children behind on Mother's Day," said Molina. "Knowing that someone was possibly in fear of their life. Mother’s Day, we have two children, a 3 and a 1-year-old, Norelis has left behind. Those children will never celebrate Mother’s Day with their mother. We have a mother, a grandmother, who lost her daughter on Mother’s Day...We know that she's by her children now in spirit."
Norelis Mendoza never got to see another Mother’s Day. She was last seen on a street I frequent and her body was found off Rt. 440. She went to school with one of my friends. She could have been any of us.— Liliane Wolf (@LilianeWolf) May 18, 2023
This is an outrage.
According to a GoFundMe page set up to help alleviate burial costs and assist the grieving family in dealing with this devastating loss, Mendoza's smile "was infectious." The fundraiser reads, "She enjoyed being a mom and did everything for her daughters. During this whole ordeal, her daughters have cried for her every day. This has been a senseless act of violence and her girls have been ripped from having their mom on this earth with them."
PRESS RELEASE: Homicide Unit Investigating Death of Lindenwold Woman pic.twitter.com/HNQioOT1q5— ProsecutorSuarezHCPO (@HCPOProsecutor) May 17, 2023
The fundraiser elaborates that the family seeks funds so that they "can take care of her daughters as she would have loved to do herself," adding that the family desires to "honor her as a mother" and "carry out the plan she had for her girls". It continues, "She was a beacon of light and would help anyone she could. We are left with her beautiful daughters and will raise them with her legacy of love and kindness."
My report from earlier this evening as @HCPOProsecutor tentatively identifies a body found this afternoon off 440 N as Norelis Mendoza, 32, who was last seen this weekend in #JerseyCity they say her death is considered suspicious pic.twitter.com/uAHxq1Fb5H— Joti Rekhi (@jotikrekhi) May 18, 2023
Cover Image Source: Jersey City Police