5-year-old girl found wandering outside Dumont home leads cops to murdered mom's body, boyfriend nabbed

The girl's mother was allegedly stabbed to death by her boyfriend, who fled the scene with his two children


                            5-year-old girl found wandering outside Dumont home leads cops to murdered mom's body, boyfriend nabbed
Jeffrey Daniels (Bergen County Prosecutor's Office)

NEW JERSEY: A New Jersey man allegedly stabbed and killed his girlfriend using a kitchen knife. He then left her 5-year-old daughter wandering around outside their home while he walked off with the pair's two children, reports reveal. Jeffrey Daniels, 36, is facing various charges including murder, child endangerment and possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes.

According to NJ.com, the body of Daniels' girlfriend, Michelle Burns, was discovered in their garden apartment located in Dumont, on Tuesday, June 16. The police received a 911 call at 12.20 am on Tuesday from a concerned neighbor who spotted the child walking around alone in the courtyard on Knickerbocker Road. Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella had said in a statement, "Officers entered Ms Burns' apartment to conduct a welfare check and found her deceased. She had been stabbed in the neck with a kitchen knife." 

The officers were also told that a relative could not reach Burns via cell phone and had heard arguing from the apartment, Musella revealed. A short while later, the authorities nabbed Daniels around 4 miles away in Closter where he had taken the couple's young children, aged 18 months and 6 months. Both the children were checked at a hospital and had no injuries. Burns' younger sister who lives in the same apartment, Nicole Boccellari, said she was at home when she was telephoned by a neighbor to say that Daniels had knocked on her door to ask for a ride. She revealed that the neighbor did not open the door for Daniels as she was scared and feared for her safety. Boccellari said, "As he walked off to the next apartment to knock on their door, she noticed that he had no pants and only a jacket and holding a baby."

It was after this that the neighbor saw the 5-year-old child wandering about outside and immediately called the police. It is believed that the 5-year-old child was the daughter of Burns from a previous relationship. The authorities said that Burns did not put up any fight, ABC13 reveals. Boccellari spoke about how she frantically tried to call her sister but to no avail. "I was calling and screaming her name into the apartment and banging on the door, and my neighbor was banging on the windows, and we got no response," she said. 

She further added how the couple would argue a lot and did not have a very good relationship. She also said that her sister did not file any restraining order fearing that Daniels would kill her. Boccellari shared, "It was never a good relationship, it was never a safe relationship. She always watched over me, she was very protective of me. She wanted to be a mom to me. Protect me, guide me, make me feel the best," she added. According to the prosecutor's office, Daniels was being held at the county jail ahead of a court hearing. It is not known whether he had retained an attorney.

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