NJ Mother and 2 Children Stabbed to Death, Husband Kills Self

The woman had a temporary restraining order against her husband, police said

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What to Know

  • A family of four is dead in South Jersey, police said. A man is believed to have taken his life. His wife and two young children were stabbed to death in their home.
  • Police are working to determine when the killings happened. They found the mother and children after discovering the husband's body.
  • The deaths happened in two different places. The wife and children were killed in their Penns Grove apartment while the man died about 5 miles away.

A mother and her young children were found stabbed to death inside the family's South Jersey apartment on Wednesday, police said.

The woman's husband was found dead of an apparent suicide at a nearby sporting club.

A passerby first discovered the man's body in the woods while walking near the Salem County Sportsmen's Club along Route 40 in Carney's Point, New Jersey.

When officers identified the man, they went to his last known address, an apartment about 5 miles away at Penns Grove Gardens in neighboring Penns Grove.

Family Photo
Ruth Reyes and her two children.

Inside the home, police found the bodies of the man's wife and the couple's two children, a 5-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son.

A relative and law enforcement source identified the woman as 30-year-old Ruth Reyes.

Penns Grove Police Chief Patrick Riley said the woman had a restraining order in place. A relative told NBC10 Reyes and her husband had been living apart and she had gone to the authorities a few weeks ago after her husband threatened to kill her.

Investigators are trying to determine when the killings happened.

"It's very difficult. Most of the officers have children," Riley said.

Sky view of an apartment complex
The Penns Grove Gardens apartment complex in Penns Grove, New Jersey.

Tyler Ashlock, who lives in the apartment complex, said he did not hear any noise from the apartment over the past day.

"No arguing, no gunshots or nothing," he said. "I didn't hear anything."

A tearful man who came to the apartment complex on Wednesday said that the couple worked for him. He said the woman recently celebrated her birthday.

A relative told NBC10 the family was originally from the Dominican Republic and had moved to the United States for better opportunities.

"I'm praying for the family because this is a time when you need a prayer," Mona Lisa Fields, a neighbor, told NBC10.

Police in the woods
Police investigate the discovery of a body in Carney's Point, New Jersey, on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HELP: The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 or 800-787-3224 (TTY) provides people in distress, or those around them, with 24-hour support.

SUICIDE PREVENTION HELP: If you are in crisis, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or reach out to the Crisis Text Line by texting 'Home' to 741741.

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