NJ woman killed husband in 2007, hid remains in closet, prosecutors say

May 17, 2013 9:22:03 PM PDT
A Ventnor woman has been charged with murdering her husband six years ago, after police found his remains in a closet in her home.

61-year-old Loretta Doyle Burroughs was arrested Friday morning at her home in the 300 block of Hampshire Avenue.

Prosecutors say she stabbed to death her husband, 66-year-old Daniel Burroughs, back in August 2007 at the couple's then-home, on Leipzig Avenue in Mays Landing, N.J.

Daniel Burroughs was reported missing in September 2007. No trace of him was ever found.

Loretta Burroughs later moved to Ventnor.

Prosecutors say in February 2013, one of Daniel Burroughs' family members contacted the newly created Cold Case Unit of the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office.

Investigators re-opened the case and obtained search warrants for Loretta Burroughs' home in Ventnor, and for a home she was planning to relocate to in Villas, Cape May County.

When they searched the Ventnor home, investigators found human remains positively identified as those of Daniel Burroughs in a closet. An autopsy on the remains is pending.

Loretta Burroughs is behind bars, charged with murder and weapons offenses. A court appearance was scheduled for Friday afternoon.

Daniel Burroughs' family had long suspected that his wife had something to do with this disappearance.

Those suspicions became a reality Friday, but what they didn't suspect was that she allegedly keeping his remains all those years.

"To know that she's kept him for 6 years is outrageous; it is unbelievable; it's indescribable. Who does these things?" said Carolyn Burroughs, the victim's daughter.

Carolyn Burroughs suspected her step-mother killed her father from beginning.

Loretta Burroughs had claimed Daniel left her for another woman.

"It was the same story," she said. "He left with another woman; just his bizarre stuff; that he picked up and didn't even take his watch, his wallet and his cell phone."

"She wasn't the grandma type that made you cookies and wants to give them to you in good faith," said family friend Robert Valiente. "She just had a lot of suspicions about her."

Friends gathered outside the Mays Landing home the couple shared back in 2007 as police searched the home for more evidence.

But one question remains, why did she do it?

Friends and family suspect the motive was Daniel's insistence the couple retire in Florida.

"She was absolutely hell bent that she wasn't going to Florida, and he was hell bent that they were going to Florida," Ron Roberts.

While the family is shocked by the developments, they also say there is a bit of closure. They will now be able to give Daniel Burroughs a proper burial.