Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens, II and Maplewood Police Chief Jim DeVaul announced Sunday that authorities have charged a suspect in connection with the killing of two people in Maplewood, 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.