May 20, 2023
A 35-year-old man was charged with murder after a South Jersey mother's dead body was found on the side of the highway near Jersey City earlier this week, Hudson County Prosecutor's Office said.
Gregory Mallard is also facing weapons charges related to the death of Norelis Mendoza, 32. He is currently in custody in Somerset County, authorities said.
Mendoza was reported missing after not coming home on Mother's Day. The mother of two daughters, ages 1 and 3, was last seen leaving her mother's house around 10 p.m. Sunday.
On Wednesday, Mendoza's dead body was found on Route 440 in Bayonne, near the border with Jersey City. She was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said.
The woman's family believed she may have been the victim of domestic from her ex-boyfriend. It is not clear whether or not Mallard and Mendoza had a relationship. The family said a restraining order had been taken out against the father of her children and that he has a history of violence.
Mendoza was seen talking to a man on video the night she disappeared while she was in downtown Jersey City, CBS New York reported.
"We didn't know who she went out with at the time. We didn't know if she got in a vehicle, if she walked anywhere," Geovanni Molina, Mendoza's cousin, said.
A GoFundMe page was set up to assist Mendoza's daughters; as of Saturday morning, $32,669 of the $50,000 goal has been raised.
"Norelis is deeply loved; we will not stop protecting, supporting, and loving your girls," the fundraiser description reads. "We won't stop until we get justice for you. Rest in paradise Beautiful Angel. We will take it from here with everyone's help."
An investigation into Mendoza's death is still being conducted. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Office of the Hudson County Prosecutor at (201) 915-1345. In addition, anonymous tips can be submitted using an online form.