Missing L.I. Mom Found Dead Near Patchogue Home

Had been missing since Friday; no link to serial killer case

By Andrew Siff
|  Wednesday, Dec 22, 2010  |  Updated 7:36 AM EDT
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Body Of Missing Long Island Mother Found

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Body Of Missing Long Island Mother Found

Investigators make grim discovery.
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Joseph Jones acknowledged he and his wife had a fight.

"We got into an argument," said the North Patchogue man, "but I left, and she left, and when I came back she wasn't here."

That was on Friday. He soon filed a missing persons report. Four days later, Joseph's wife, Nicole Tessa, was found dead in a wooded area near the couple's home on Prince Street.

Suffolk County investigators are trying to determine what happened. According to family members, Tessa had disappeared before, and that she had health problems that required her to take anti-seizure medication. 

Still, the heavy police presence on what's typically a quiet street had neighbors buzzing and friends and family emotional.

"She was a great mom," said one friend, who rushed past a group of reporters and photographers. Tessa and Joseph had a three-year old son, Aiden.

Jones has been questioned by authorities, but is not considered a suspect. The medical examiner has yet to determine the cause of death.

Neighbor Tina Planas said the arguing from the house next door wasn't anything out of the ordinary.

"She was a good mother, they had their moments like every family does," said Planas. "You know it's sad. They had their arguments, but who doesn't?"

Meanwhile, investigators have said there's no link to the unsolved cases in Gilgo beach, where 4 women's bodies were found in recent weeks. 

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