Ex-Boyfriend arrested in young mom's murder in Waldwick

Phil Lipof reports from Waldwick, New Jersey.
October 24, 2013 3:44:45 PM PDT
Police in New Jersey have arrested the former boyfriend of a young mother found strangled to death with their infant in the same room.

The body of 23-year-old Mary Greff, a former Miss New Jersey Teen USA contestant, was discovered in bed Wednesday in the Waldwick home she shared with her parents.

Her infant was found unharmed in a bassinet in the same room.

Investigators say Mark Spatucci, 22, drove to the Greff residence and entered the house through a second floor window and entered the victim's bedroom on Tuesday night. Once inside the bedroom with the victim and the baby, Spatucci and Greff began arguing. Authorities say it is believed the baby and Greff's parents were sleeping at the time.

The argument apparently turned violent and Spatucci is alleged to have killed Greff and left her lying on her bed. Autopsy is still pending, but the cause of death is believed to be by asphyxiation.

Investigators say Spatucci then left the Greff residence in the same manner that he entered, unnoticed by the victim's parents.

Police found him late Wednesday afternoon in Midland Park and taken into custody for questioning. He was later charged with murder, felony murder, burglary, endangering the welfare of a child and hindering apprehension. Spatucci is currently lodged in the Bergen County Jail in Hackensack on $2,000.000.00 bail.

Authorities say Spatucci and Greff began dating approximately two years ago. Mary Greff gave birth to her baby in February of this year. Spatucci and Greff lived together for a short period of time, investigators said. Mary Greff later returned to her parent's residence to live with the baby. According to the family, Spatucci had court ordered custody visitation with the baby but Mary Greff had full custody.

Greff's parents had gone out to run errands on Wednesday morning, and police say the body was there for about 12 hours before she was found.

"They left in the morning, and it wasn't until they returned when they realized that they had not heard from their daughter," Bergen County Prosecutor James Molinelli said. "So that's when the father went upstairs and found the body."

Investigators returned to the Mary Lane home to search for evidence on Thursday.

The Bergen County Prosecutor's Office and the Waldwick Police Department are the lead agencies investigating the case.

The last homicide in Waldwick happened on June 10, 2008 and an attempted homicide happened on July 4, 2009. In both cases, suspects were arrested and convicted.