New Jersey dad charged in wife's murder, kids' abduction appears in court

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Thursday, May 29, 2014
NJ man accused of murdering wife, abducting kids due in court
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Dray Clark reports on a court date for the man who allegedly murdered his wife and prompted an Amber Alert across several states

LODI, N.J. (WABC) -- A father from New Jersey appeared in Bergen County court for the first time since his arrest for murder.

Police say 47-year-old John Jordan fatally stabbed his estranged wife before kidnapping his two children, ages 7 and 9, triggering an Amber Alert and sparking a multi-state manhunt before he was arrested in South Carolina.

He was extradited to Hackensack last week.

It was an emotionally painful proceeding for family members to watch. Jordan was led into court in handcuffs, wearing his prison jumpsuit as the chilling nature of the crime was detailed in court.

For the two dozen family members of murder victim Tracey Jordan, the fight for justice is just beginning.

"Not only did he take a beautiful girl from us, but there are a number of families and a multiple number of people impacted by this," said Saddle Brook police chief Robert Kugler.

Friends of the victim say John Jordan was angry that his divorce was close to being finalized. They say he had threatened to kill her before, and that she was afraid. On May 9, authorities say Jordan made good on that threat.

He allegedly attacked 39-year-old Tracey Jordan in her Lodi apartment before driving to his children's school and telling officials they had to leave early for a dentist appointment.

He then drove them to his father's home in Greenville, where FBI agents had been waiting in anticipation of his expected arrival.

Jordan's move to abduct the kids touched off a debate about who would get custody, family in South Carolina or Tracey's family. As it stands now, the boys are safe and sound in New Jersey.

"We continue to pray for Tracey, and we continue to pray for and support the two young boys. That's what we're all about," said Kugler. "I'm happy to say we live in the community of Saddle Brook, where we will watch them for the rest of their lives."