Maplewood Police and Fire

UPDATED: Maplewood Dad, Family Au Pair Identified in Double Homicide; Suspect Charged

Updated August 7, 2019 with a link to a report by NorthJersey.com.

Updated August 5, 2019, with additional information from court documents, as reported by NJ.com.

David Kimowitz

David Kimowitz, 40, a husband and father of two young children, and Karen L. Bermudez-Rodriguez, 26, an au pair with the Kimowitz family, were identified today as the victims in a double homicide that occurred early Saturday morning, August 3, in Maplewood.

According to Thomas Fennelly of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, authorities have arrested Joseph D. Porter, 27, of Elizabeth, and charged him with the murders. Authorities report that Porter was in a “dating relationship” with Bermudez-Rodriguez. Read the full press release from the ECPO  below.

Karen L. Bermudez-Rodriguez via Facebook

911 calls obtained through a records request by NorthJersey.com on Wednesday show the swift and compassionate response of multiple neighbors as they called for help and waited with Bermudez-Rodriguez for police and medical services to arrive.

According to Facebook and Linkedin, Kimowitz was a partner with CH Entertainment and the proprietor of The Stand Restaurant & Comedy Club in New York City. Bermudez-Rodriguez was a native of Colombia who took on work in the U.S. as an au pair to improve her English.

NJ.com has reported that, according to court documents filed by authorities, Porter and Bermudez-Rodriguez had been texting between 1:30 and 2 a.m. the morning of the murders and that Bermudez-Rodriguez had broken up with Porter and asked for her house key back. Porter used that key to enter the home in the early morning hours and stabbed Kimowitz in his second floor bedroom. He then “bound Bermudez-Rodriguez’s hands with tape, but she managed to break free and fled the house”; Porter then chased Bermudez-Rodriguez into the street where he assaulted and stabbed her. Authorities arrested Porter at Newark Liberty International Airport as he attempted to flee the country. Read the full NJ.com report here. 

Read the full August 4 press release from the ECPO here:

Joseph D. Porter, 27, of Elizabeth, NJ

SUSPECT CHARGED IN MAPLEWOOD DOUBLE HOMICIDE

(8/3/2019)

Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens, II and Maplewood Police Chief Jim DeVaul have announced that authorities have charged a suspect in connection with the killing of two people in Maplewood, NJ on Saturday August 3, 2019. Shortly after 6:00 am, Maplewood police officers responded to the area of Walton Road and Jefferson Avenue on a report of a woman being assaulted.

Arriving officers located an injured woman lying in the street. This victim, who has been identified as Karen L. Bermudez-Rodriguez, age 26, of Maplewood was transported to Beth Israel Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead at 7:17 am. As Maplewood officers were canvassing the area of this incident, an unresponsive male was located within a residence in the 400 block of Walton Road. This male, who has been identified as David Kimowitz, age 40 of Maplewood, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Chief Assistant Prosecutor Thomas S. Fennelly of the Prosecutor’s Homicide Unit. Ms. Bermudez-Rodriguez was employed as an au pair for the Kimowitz family.

An investigation by the Essex County Prosecutor’s Homicide Task Force and the Maplewood Police Department led authorities to charge Joseph D. Porter, age 27, of Elizabeth, NJ in connection with the deaths. Porter had been in a dating relationship with Ms. Bermudez-Rodriguez. The Essex County Sheriff’s Office, Port Authority Police Department and U.S. Homeland Security Investigations Bureau (ICE/HSI) also assisted in the investigation. Porter has been charged with two counts of murder, possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and criminal restraint. He is being lodged in the Essex County Correctional Facility pending an appearance in Superior Court, according to Fennelly.

Prosecutor Stephens praised the quick work of the Maplewood Police Department and the detectives from his office’s Homicide Crime Scene and Cyber Units. Prosecutor Stephens also thanks the Essex County Sheriff, Port Authority Police Department and ICE/HSI for their assistance with the investigation.

THE CHARGES AGAINST THIS DEFENDANT ARE MERELY ACCUSATIONS. HE IS PRESUMED INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY

No further information is available at this time.

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