Court documents reveal new details in gruesome killing of South Jersey mother

Norelis Mendoza, 32, of Lindenwold, NJ, was reported missing on Mother's Day by family members.

ByBrandon Longo WPVI logo
Wednesday, June 7, 2023
Authorities search home of missing NJ mother found dead in woods
Investigators from Camden County were seen searching the home of the 32-year-old mother on Thursday afternoon.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Court documents have revealed new details in the killing of a South Jersey mother who was found dead last month.

Norelis Mendoza, 32, of Lindenwold, New Jersey, was reported missing on May 14 by family members. She was last seen leaving her mother's home in Jersey City.

The mother of a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old was found dead days later on May 17 in a wooded area near Jersey City and Bayonne.

SEE ALSO: Man charged with murder in death of missing South Jersey mother

The man accused of killing her, 35-year-old Gregory Mallard, was ordered detained during a detention hearing on Monday. He has since been transferred to state prison on a parole violation, according to New Jersey court officials.

In an affidavit of probable cause obtained by Action News, authorities detail Mendoza's last moments alive before her gruesome death.

Video surveillance allegedly spotted Mendoza with Mallard at the American Dream Mall on May 13 to May 14 between the hours of 10:20 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. They arrived in a blue Dodge RAM that was registered to Mendoza and operated by Mallard, according to authorities.

Video later spotted the pair outside a bar on the 200 block of Bay Street in Jersey City and they were reportedly later seen at a McDonald's on Communipaw Avenue around 3:53 a.m. with Mallard driving the Dodge Ram and Mendoza in the passenger's seat.

Around 4:31 a.m., video obtained by police allegedly shows the victim running toward the intersection of Burma Road and Thomas McGovern Avenue as she was hit by the Dodge Ram from behind. According to court documents, the Dodge Ram, with Mallard allegedly behind the wheel, then makes a U-Turn and hits Mendoza again, running her over.

SEE ALSO: Authorities search home of missing Lindenwold mother found dead in North Jersey

Mallard is accused of placing the woman's body in the passenger's seat and driving to a railroad track parallel to Rt. 440 South where Mendoza's body was later found on the afternoon of May 17.

Authorities say video showed the Dodge Ram near the railroad at Rt. 440 South and Mallard was also later spotted the following morning washing and vacuuming the interior and exterior of the vehicle.

According to a post-mortem exam, Mendoza suffered a fractured scapula and pelvis, injuries to the lung and avulsion injuries. The exam noted that Mendoza's injuries were consistent with a pedestrian being struck by a vehicle.

Authorities have not revealed a motive for the murder, but according to court documents, Mallard has a history of stalking, harassing and using terroristic threats toward "any victim."

Mendoza's family believes she was the victim of domestic violence involving her ex-boyfriend.

Mallard was arrested on May 19 and charged with murder in the death of Mendoza.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact the Office of the Hudson County Prosecutor at 201-915-1345.