A couple was discovered dead by their 11-year-old son in a residence in Bergenfield, New Jersey.
On March 19, the son of Mark Morris and Annette Torres reported that his parents were not breathing around 10:20 am. Torres was discovered dead in an upstairs bedroom and Morris was found in the basement, as reported by KABC-TV News.
According to Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir Grewal, the case is currently being considered a murder-suicide with a significant domestic violence component.
"At this point we believe that the male in the basement died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head," said Grewal.
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According to The North Jersey Record, there are several unanswered questions surrounding the case, such as whether local police has addressed any domestic violence incidents in the past. It is also unknown whether or not the couple was married.
"It’s a shame that they didn’t reach out to an organization that could help them," said Mayor Norman Schmelz. "I don’t know what the issues were, but reaching out to someone and asking for help is always better than ending your life."
Schmelz continued that the neighborhood is working to create a committee to educate residents who are trying to seek assistance for mental health concerns.
"We’re bringing this out to community leaders, church leaders," Schmelz said. “We’re really at the start of it right now, but hopefully this can prevent these things from happening in the future.”
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Numerous, friends, relatives, and members of the community are grieving the couple. A small memorial has been erected outside of Bergenfield High School.
"She was an amazing lady," said Jennifer, who had worked with Torres several years ago. "She was relaxed, her demeanor was very chill. She never had any issues with anybody."
"Most of all I will miss our deep conversations," said one of the couple’s daughters about Morris. “You were one of the few people that I could pour my heart out to.
Interim schools superintendent Christopher Tully emailed a statement on behalf of the district.
"The Bergenfield Public Schools are heartbroken to hear of this tragic news in our community," Tully said. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the 11-year-old son, any surviving family and friends. We have activated our Crisis Management Plan and will have counselors available to talk with any students or staff in any of our schools."