LODI, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A New Jersey man accused of stabbing his estranged wife to death and then fleeing to South Carolina with their children faced a judge on Thursday.
Police allege 47-year-old John Jordan killed 39-year-old Tracey Jordan in her Lodi apartment earlier this month.
He then took their sons, 8-year-old Nicholas Jordan and 7-year-old Anthony Jordan, from their school, prompting police to issue an AMBER Alert and setting off a frantic five-state manhunt.
The three were later found near a relative’s home in South Carolina, authorities said.
Police brought Jordan back to New Jersey last week to face charges of murder and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.
In court on Thursday, Jordan’s lawyer entered a not guilty plea on his client’s behalf, WCBS 880’s Levon Putney reported.
The boys were placed in protective custody in South Carolina.
“The two boys are doing good,” said Saddle Brook police chief Robert Kugler, who is the victim’s uncle.
The courtroom was filled with Tracey Jordan’s relatives. Kugler said it’s been tough on the rest of the family.
“Multiple number of people that were impacted by this. He’s got to know that. That’s why we’re here.”
Officials said child welfare authorities in both states must investigate the boys’ maternal and paternal relatives before determining where they will be placed. It was not known when that decision will be made.
Jordan was remanded back to Bergen County Jail on $3 million bail, as the case now goes to a grand jury.
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