Neighbors Devastated By Deaths Of Old Bridge Couple In What Cops Call Apparent Murder-Suicide

OLD BRIDGE, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Two young children of a couple who died in what authorities are calling an apparent murder-suicide are now in the custody of relatives.

Police still haven’t released how 39-year-old Anthony Trapp died, but said he killed himself inside the Bear Mountain Bridge Motel after murdering his estranged wife and taking off with their two little girls.

It was a tragic end to a troubled marriage.

“They were a good couple when they first moved here, had good times,” said friend Vinny Allen.”Like any other marriage, fights happen and they went ways and started to get separated.”

Police say 37-year-old Heather Trapp was stabbed to death inside the Old Bridge, New Jersey home where the couple once lived together.

Neighbors say she shared custody of the children and was picking them up.

“He lost his job and he supposedly had some medical problems,” said Allen. “He had surgery and then a lot went downhill.”

The two little girls, ages 5 and a 20 months, weren’t harmed.

They walked out of the motel room early Friday morning where they had been barricaded with their father.

“The oldest daughter, she kept crying for her daddy,” said witness Justine Lindahen. “She kept saying they wanted her daddy.”

Police issued an AMBER Alert Friday when they say Trapp took off with his kids in his estranged wife’s car and traced him to the motel.

As officers surrounded the motel, the two little girls walked out on their own. Officers scooped them up and pulled them to safety.

When troopers finally went inside the motel room more than an hour later, they found Trapp dead on a bed in what officials have called an apparent suicide.

The Trapps married in October 2004 in Livingston, N.J., at a ceremony overseen by a rabbi and a Catholic priest. After honeymooning in Hawaii, they settled in Old Bridge in a tidy, brown-shingled single-family home on a quiet cul-de-sac.

Heather Trapp, formerly Heather Newman, was originally from Staten Island, where she graduated from Port Richmond High School before receiving an associate degree in dental hygiene from New York City Technical College and then working as a dental hygienist at a Manhattan practice.

Anthony Trapp went to high school in Brooklyn and graduated from Brooklyn College with a degree in finance. He worked with Jemmco Capital in Manhattan before joining the New York office of the French financial services company Societe Generale.

Trapp filed suit against the company, where he worked as a senior auditor from 2006 to 2009, claiming he was unlawfully terminated and discriminated against because of an ongoing disability, according to court papers.

Trapp claimed in the suit he had been diagnosed in 2008 with a genetic disorder he identified as Marfan syndrome, describing it as a genetic disorder affecting connective tissues that forced him to undergo open-heart surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm.

Returning to work following the surgery, Trapp claimed in his suit that supervisors and colleagues began a continuous campaign of insulting, harassing and giving him unwarranted negative performance reviews. He said his complaints of harassment to supervisors went unheeded, describing in court papers how co-workers would taunt him with insults like “you cry more than your daughter” and “stop being a baby” or teasing him about working a half-day when he left early for medical reasons.

The situation culminated with him being terminated in December 2009, after Trapp alleged a company attorney confronted him and claimed that Marfan syndrome was “not a real disorder” and that none of Trapp’s allegations of harassment was substantiated, according to court papers.

The company denied Trapp’s allegations.

The suit claimed Trapp was shocked and devastated by his treatment, had suffered loss of self-confidence and self-esteem and was forced to see a therapist for depression and severe emotional distress. He said his wife had filed for divorce due to the economic harm inflicted on the family by his job loss.

Old Bridge Township resident Anthony Dalasi was close friends with the Trapps, and said he and his wife are devastated by their neighbors’ deaths.

“She was one of the best people we ever met. She would do anything for her children,” Dalasi said. “Even while they had their problems, her children were her main priority.”

He said Anthony Trapp had been unemployed and Heather Trapp still worked as a dental hygienist in New York City.

Please share your thoughts below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • abi

    Help these kids now! This is the Heather Trapp fund for Emma and Sophia Trapp.. And shame on those judges who didnt see through the deceitfulness of Anthony Trapp.

  • You'reallidiots

    If everyone who knew her personally, most importantly her family, was afraid for her, THEN WHY DID ANY OF YOU LET HER GO PICK UP HER KIDS ALONE?!?!?! She should never have been left alone with him. Stop blaming the judge, his former co-workers and everyone else you can think of. Her family and so-called close friends let her down.

    • lynn

      You know something -he was supposed to bring the children to the curb -outside so she didn’t have to go in and because she didnt need have that paper is the reason he didn’t HAVE to have an middle man as a drop off. She was out of that has for four months sharing custody. Not HER fault!!!! She shouldn’t NEED the back up !!!!

    • Hope

      Honestly this comment outrages me. I hope you understand what you’ve just said. To blame her family and friends is just absolute insanity. Heather was picking up her children for a couple of months so this SO THIS PAST THURSDAY WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE ANY DIFFERENT. they had SHARED custody. key word is shared. The law kept her from leaving the state…do you think she chose to be a victim of violence over the period of time that she was? You’re the true idiot here. If her family and friends knew she’d be murdered do you think they’d let it happen? Heather followed the law and she did what she had to do, which included letting her children go to their father’s as well as picking them up. Why don’t you learn how to think before you speak. If he was originally seen as dangerous then the law would have backed her up and she wouldntve been brutally murdered. Her family did not let her down. God forbid you were ever in this situation then you’d understand. grow up and realize that no one saw this coming.

  • devasted

    I know Heather and her family for over 25 years, Heather was an amazing person, fun, caring, always LAUGHING, confident, SAFE… not the Heather you knew in recent months always looking over her shoulder afraid for her life. How is it that she rallied up enough courage to speak out yet her cries fell on deaf ears? Why is it that in a time of crisis we will fight for saftey on another land but in our own backyard our own people are not being protected? I just dont understand how this can happen, it doesnt make sense. Im in total disbelief that as I read this story this is our Heather our friend, daughter, sister…… i pray that every judge, police office, attorney that failed her are working harder to correct their mistakes so that Heather may rest in peace. I am so angry right now……..I am begging the state of NJ to fix their laws and please please please do not put another family through this pain!!!!!!!

  • Ann

    I have read been to other sites which blame him..blame her..blame no one but those involved in the court system and protective serves that did not protect Heather when she needed it. Once again someone dies when the system fails to do it’s job.

    I pray for the family and for the girls’ future.

  • tzip

    The court system failed Heather Trapp and she paid the ultimate price.  I knew Heather, she was my dental hygienist, and we recently spoke about her predicament. All the warning signs were there—an unemployed man ready to burst — and nothing was done.  She told me that she could not get a restraining order to continue, leaving her unprotected by a court system supposedly designed to work for her safety.  The lurking question remains. How many more Heather Trapps must die before New Jersey gets the message that the system is broken?

    Heather was a hardworking, caring, and gentle person who got lost in our justice system (or, in this case, injustice system). The apparent irresponsibility of the judge in this matter should be investigated and a broader look should be taken at the laws that are meant to protect us. Let’s not make this another quickly forgotten domestic murder. It’s time to speak out and let our lawmakers know that change is long overdue and delay is lethal.

    • Jayare

      tzip – Heather was my dental hygienist too and I agree with everything you posted. The judge and the system need to be held accountable – they grossly failed that family. Heather was a lovely person – inside and out and did not deserve what happened.

  • Kevin

    He was in auditing and compliance at SocGen. Traders always turn on the auditors. Bad excuse.

  • Ellen

    Something went tragically wrong here. I feel so sorry for those beautiful little girls that have to live with this the rest of their lives. I pray that they have loving family members that will bring up these little ones with love and affection.

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