Trenton hostage drama enters third day, authorities seeking ‘peaceful end’ (VIDEO)
The hostage crisis began at 2:47 p.m. Friday afternoon when reportedly, Trenton police were asked by relatives, of 42-year-old Carmen Kelly, to check on her well being.
According to witnesses, officers entered the home and immediately came upon a decomposing body of a woman, and an armed man, identified later as Murphy, in close proximity to the victim.
Police are said to have promptly retreated in order to evacuate neighbors, set up a perimeter and call in SWAT.
It was later reported that Kelly’s 13-year-old brother had also been murdered.
A mother and her child are dead at the hands of the woman’s boyfriend, who took the woman’s other children hostage and barricaded himself inside his South Trenton home yesterday afternoon, law enforcement sources said.
A gunman who had barricaded himself and three children in a home in Trenton, New Jersey, on Friday was communicating with police, but the standoff continued into the morning, authorities said.
"We have state police on the scene, a SWAT team and a hostage negotiator present," said Lt. Mark Kieffer of the Trenton police department. "We evacuated the surrounding blocks. And we're talking to him now."
The situation began in the afternoon, police said, but it was not immediately clear how it started or how old the children are, or their relationship to the man.
The standoff continued early Saturday morning, police said.
As of 5:30 a.m. negotiators were still talking to the suspect, but no hostages had been released, said Trenton Detective Lieutenant Steve Varn.
The ordeal had spanned more than 12 hours, police said.
Late last night, the man remained locked in a standoff with police, inside the house on the 200 block of Grand Street which was the center of a massive law enforcement presence. Negotiators were trying to convince the armed boyfriend, whom authorities did not name, to let the children out to safety before surrendering himself, Mercer County Prosecutor Joe Bocchini said.
The deceased woman is 42-year-old Carmen Kelly, her first cousin Ray Kelly said. She had five children, four of whom were inside the house last night: two daughters, ages 17 and 14, along with a son in his early teens and a 4-year-old boy. Ray Kelly had not been told which of the children had been killed.
Carmen Kelly’s 19-year-old autistic son, who had been living inside the Grand Street home, was safe with family members last night, Ray Kelly said.
The man holding the children hostage is not their father, but someone Carmen Kelly met when she came to Trenton from the South recently.
“She just met this guy no more than three months ago,” said Kelly, who added that Carmen Kelly was living with his sister prior to moving in with the man on Grand Street.
Kelly confirmed what neighbors in the South Ward also said, that the man went by his nickname, “Skip,” but Kelly declined to give the man’s full name.
A Trenton police spokesman could not confirm a double homicide or children being held hostage, but two law enforcement sources familiar with the details of the investigation said Trenton police were called to the home for a well-being check yesterday afternoon. When the officers entered the home, they discovered the partially decomposed body of the woman inside, the sources said.
After the man brandished a handgun and the officials pulled back, police realized they were dealing with a hostage situation, with the man holding the children, the sources said.
The body of the dead child thought to have been killed by the suspect is still inside the home, the sources said.
Trenton police spokesman Lt. Mark Kieffer confirmed last night police were dealing with an armed, barricaded suspect.
Voice of Russia, The Guardian Express, The Times of Trenton, CNN