Norelis Mendoza missing NJ mom found dead. Lindenwold mom of two last seen leaving her mom’s home late Saturday, with surveillance capturing her with an unidentified individual early Sunday morning in Jersey City. Family suspect domestic violence at hands of children’s father.
A Lindenwold, New Jersey mother of two has been found dead on the side of a highway, days after she was reported missing on Mother’s Day. The woman’s death comes after she was last seen on surveillance tape with an unidentified individual after leaving her mother’s home.
The body of Norelis Mendoza, 32, was discovered Wednesday morning in a wooded area off Route 440 near the Jersey City-Bayonne border.
The missing mom was last seen four days after dropping off her 1-year-old daughter at her parents’ home in Jersey City, late Saturday.
‘Where’s Mom? Why is she not checking in?
The Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office and police consider Mendoza’s death suspicious.
They have not yet determined a cause or manner of death.
The mother of two was last seen leaving her mother’s Montgomery Street home Saturday night.
‘We didn’t know who she went out with at the time. We didn’t know if she got in a vehicle, if she walked anywhere,’ Giovanni Molina, the victim’s cousin told CBS News.
Molina says her mom reached out a few hours later and got no response. By Sunday morning, Mendoza’s phone was going straight to voicemail.
When the family hadn’t heard from her for 24 hours, that’s when they reported her missing.
‘After a certain time, like, ‘Where’s Mom? Why is she not checking in? Why isn’t she coming here?’ And it’s Mother’s Day, above everything else,’ Molina said.
Mystery person in surveillance video
Mendoza’s family suspects she was the victim of domestic violence and that the father of her children, ages 1 and 3, may be involved, WABC reported.
They said the body was discovered near his home, with the man having a history of violence.
‘Norelis was a loving mother, somebody that would never leave their children behind on Mother’s Day,’ Molina told NBC Philadelphia.
The family said the mom was spotted with someone in surveillance footage early Sunday morning in downtown Jersey City.
‘We know that they were in the downtown Jersey City area. That’s as far as we know as far as information. We don’t know exactly where. We don’t know where they went afterwards,’ Molina told CBS News.
The family reported her missing and a BOLO — be on the lookout — alert was sent out Sunday morning.
‘Those children will never celebrate Mother’s Day with their mother,’
Several law enforcement departments spent the next few days scouring the area.
On Wednesday, Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez said the body was located with the assistance of the Jersey City, Bayonne and New Jersey State Police.
Authorities did not say how long the body is believed to have been there.
The mom leaves behind a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old.
‘Those children will never celebrate Mother’s Day with their mother,’ Molina said.
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.