The ex-boyfriend of a New Jersey mom with two little girls has been charged in her murder after she was reported missing on Mother’s Day and then found dead on the side of a road.
Gregory Mallard, 35, of Jersey City was charged Friday with first-degree murder in the death of 32-year-old “beautiful angel” Norelis Mendoza, with whom he shared the two daughters.
Mendoza’s body was found Wednesday off Route 440 in Bayonne, the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office said.
Mallard also faces charges including failing to dispose of human remains in a manner prescribed by law, desecration of human remains and hindering and tampering with physical evidence.
The suspect, a reputed member of the 52 Hoover Street Crips gang, previously served more than 10 years in prison for aggravated manslaughter in the 2008 shooting death of a 19-year-old man during a dispute between rivals, NJ.com reported.
Mendoza, a resident of Lindenwold, was discovered dead after she was last seen leaving her mother’s Jersey City home May 13. She was reported missing the next day.
“Nothing can bring Norelis back, but there is an amazing sense of relief,” said her cousin, Geovanni Molina, after Mallard’s arrest, according to the news outlet.
“The family would like to thank all the law enforcement agencies involved, especially the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, which did an amazing job.”
Molina said of the victim, “She had a heart of gold.
“She always gave people her best,” he said, adding that his cousin’s daughters are 1 and 3 years old.
Authorities determined that Mendoza had been out with Mallard late May 13 and that she did not return home.
Molina said Mendoza was aware of Mallard’s violent past.
He said the ex had been charged with domestic violence against Mendoza earlier this year — and believes she had filed for a restraining order against him but that he was unsure if it was still in effect.
The homicide is being investigated as an act of domestic violence, although prosecutors did not disclose details.
On Sunday night, Mendoza’s family attended a candlelight vigil in front of her mother’s Jersey City home.
“If you’re standing here, you’re family. We’ve got two little girls that we have to take care of,” Mendoza’s brother said, CBS News reported.
“All I ask for is for prayers and for guidance and that whatever these two little girls need, that we’ve got them,” added the sibling, who was not named.
A GoFundMe page titled “Fly High Beautiful Angel” raised more than $38,000 as of Monday.
“The family is finding solace that she is now with God. Our beloved Norelis found passion in helping others and dedicated her career to the medical field. Her smile was infectious. She was a beacon of light and would help anyone she could,” a relative wrote.
“We are left with her beautiful daughters and will raise them with her legacy of love and kindness. … She enjoyed being a mom and did everything for her daughters,” the post states.
“Mother’s Day is a joyous time to celebrate and her girls and family will forever live through the pain of what happened on this day,” it adds.
Mallard, who was in prison from Feb. 20, 2009, to June 7, 2020, also had convictions for distributing drugs on school property and possession dating to 2006, according to New Jersey Department of Corrections records.