LONG BRANCH, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Authorities in Monmouth County are investigating the grisly discovery of the bodies of a man and woman inside a home in Long Branch, in what appears to be a double homicide.
As CBS 2’s Christine Sloan reported Tuesday, the bodies of 35-year-old Maria Yolanda Cotejo-Munoz and 33-year-old Feredis Venturo were found in a Sairs Avenue apartment around 7 p.m. Monday, police said.
The double murder left the victims’ families stunned and searching for answers.
Meanwhile, neighbors were shocked in the quiet Long Branch neighborhood where Cotejo-Munoz lived, and where she was found slain with Venturo – whom friends said she was dating. The multi-family home was surrounded by yellow police tape Tuesday afternoon.
The families of both victims came to the scene looking for help.
“She was a very nice person — that’s all we know,” one woman said.
Prosecutors said they were acting on a missing persons report filed for Munoz on Sunday, CBS 2’s Janelle Burrell reported.
Friends of Cotejo-Munoz, the mother of a 4-year-old boy, reported her missing on Sunday when she didn’t pick up her son from the babysitter.
“The little boy is asking for her,” said Rafael Lara, a friend of the victim’s. “He was asking yesterday for her – ‘Where’s ma?’”
Prosecutors would not say how the couple was killed or who they believe may be responsible. But Lara said the estranged father of Cotejo-Munoz’s son was jealous.
“Every time he come to see the boy, they always fight,” Lara said.
Investigators would not say if they had a suspect.
“At this point we don’t believe there is any danger to society; to the community that surrounds this home,” said Monmouth County Prosecutor Chris Gramiccioni.
The prosecutor’s office would not say if Cotejo-Munoz had filed a restraining order against her ex-boyfriend, but said it is asking anyone with information to come forward.
Friends said Cotejo-Munoz, who worked as a housekeeper, also has a 12-year-old daughter in Chile – the country from which she emigrated a decade ago.