Deaths of NJ man, niece ruled murder-suicide

May 3, 2009 12:21:41 PM PDT
The drowning deaths of a northern New Jersey man and his 3-year-old niece last month have been ruled a murder-suicide. But authorities say they will likely never know why it happened.

Acting Passaic County Prosecutor Bruno Mongiardo said Sunday that no external marks were found on the bodies of Janiay Rievas or 21-year-old Juan Mendez. He said that suggests Mendez cradled the girl in his arms before jumping off a bridge into the Passaic River.

The child's body was found there a short time later. Authorities spent several days searching for Mendez before he was discovered in the river Friday.

Mendez was last seen early April 25, when he left a Passaic home with his niece and told relatives to "watch the 6 o'clock news tonight."


NEW YORK AND TRI-STATE AREA NEWS

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