A man convicted of manslaughter who walked out of prison in 2020 has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of a New Jersey mother of two young girls who disappeared before Mother’s Day and whose bodies was found on a highway a few days later in a domestic violence case.
Gregory Mallard of Jersey City has been charged in the death of 32-year-old Norelis Mendoza, whose body was found in Bayonne, according to the Hudson County District Attorney’s Office.
In addition to the murder charge, he faces unlawful possession of a weapon (a vehicle), possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose (a vehicle), failure to dispose of human remains , desecration of human remains and obstruction and tampering with evidence, according to authorities.
Details of how she died have not been revealed. Prosecutors said the investigation was ongoing and provided no additional information.
New Jersey State Department of Corrections records show Mallard, who is in custody, has convictions for manslaughter, distributing drugs on school property, and possession dating back to 2006. He was in prison from February 20, 2009 to June 7, 2020, records show.
The Jersey Journal reported that Mallard is a member of the Crips gang and was charged in 2008 with the murder of Lawrence Robertson.
Mendoza’s body was found Wednesday off Highway 440 near the Jersey City border. Authorities were looking for her after the Jersey City Police Department received a missing person report. She was last seen in Jersey City at her mother’s home around 10:30 p.m. Saturday.
Her fundraising site said she was a mother, daughter, sister, aunt, niece, cousin and friend. She leaves behind two daughters, aged 1 and 3, who cry for her every day.
“His smile was contagious,” the site said. “She was a beacon of light and would help anyone she could.”
Mendoza’s cousin Geovanni Molina told NJ.com the family is devastated.
“Nothing can bring Norelis back, but there is an incredible sense of relief,” Molina said, the newspaper reported.
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