Monday, May 12, 2014

Dad who stabbed mom and abducted kids now faces murder charges (Lodi, New Jersey)

Dad is identified as JOHN JORDAN.

Police: Lodi man who stabbed wife and grabbed kids now faces murder charge

May 9, 2014, 7:58 PM
Last updated: Saturday, May 10, 2014, 6:33 PM

By ABBOTT KOLOFF and JEFF GREEN staff writers
The Record

A frantic search for two Lodi children allegedly abducted from school by their father — hours before the children’s mother was found stabbed to death — ended early Saturday with the children safe and the father arrested near a relative’s home in South Carolina, New Jersey State Police said.

John Jordan, 47, was taken into custody near a relative’s home, and his two children, 7-year-old Anthony and 8-year-old Nicholas, were recovered after New Jersey State Police issued an Amber Alert that extended into South Carolina, authorities said in a statement shortly after 1 a.m. Saturday.

The body of the children’s mother, identified by friends as 39-year-old Tracey Jordan, was found in her apartment by her mother early Friday evening, according to state police.

John Jordan has been charged with murder and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said Saturday. He remains in South Carolina pending extradition to New Jersey.

State police said shortly before 1 a.m. that they were no longer looking for a 2007 black Honda Civic owned by the suspect, but for the mother’s silver 2012 Honda Accord with New Jersey license plate number Z56-CDJ. Less than 15 minutes later, Sgt. Greg Williams of the state police sent an email saying that Jordan had been caught.

Dozens of police and Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office detectives swarmed the Cynthia Gardens apartment complex on Garibaldi Avenue where the woman lived with her children.

In a release, Molinelli said Tracey Jordan had been estranged from her husband.

Marie Dejulia, who knows the family, said Tracey Jordan had been anticipating the finalization of a divorce from her husband “either today or tomorrow.”

Dejulia’s brother, who has been dating Tracey Jordan and has known her since they went to high school together in Saddle Brook, was too distraught to talk, Dejulia said. She said he had told her that the husband picked up the children from school on Friday, telling school officials that they had a dental appointment.

“Our concern is to get the children home,” Dejulia said. “I’m afraid he’s going to harm them and then himself.”

She said that Tracey Jordan’s mother went to the apartment Friday evening after she was unable to get in touch with her daughter and called police after there was no answer when she knocked on the door. The police helped the mother get into the apartment, where her daughter’s body was found, Dejulia said.

Tracey Jordan worked in a women’s clothing store in Secaucus, Dejulia said, and “was an amazing person, a good person, and a friend.”

Tracey Jordan was interviewed by CBS last year about the borough school district’s plan to hire retired police officers as armed guards, saying she supported the decision in the aftermath of the Newtown, Conn., school shooting. After that shooting, she told CBS: “To be honest, I didn’t want to send them to school, but we have to live our lives and move on.”

State police activated the Amber Abducted Child Alert Plan, a statewide alert, as an intensive search was under way for John Jordan and his children. Molinelli said Saturday that John Jordan had removed the children from their school “under false pretenses.” State police identified the school as Wilson Elementary School on Union Street.

Molinelli said John Jordan lived at 11 Terhune St. in Lodi.

Residents of the apartment complex said a screaming woman emerged from one of the apartments in the early evening. The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office major crime scene unit arrived on the scene along with the Lodi police as the area was cordoned off and traffic was detoured.

Police and Lodi department of Public Works employees blocked off the street around the apartment complex with barricades and police tape. Residents gathered outside as the news spread and expressed concern for the children. One man who lives in the area, Steven Tufaro, said he was confident the children would be found quickly with so many people looking for them.

An administrator with the Greenville County Department of Public Safety on Saturday confirmed Jordan is an inmate in the county detention center. According to a county government database, a judge has not set bond for Jordan. The administrator did not know when he would make an appearance in court.