Child Wandering Outside NJ Apartment Leads Cops to Slain Mother; Boyfriend Arrested

It was the second homicide in New Jersey's Bergen County within 24 hours

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Police have arrested the boyfriend of a 36-year-old woman who was found stabbed in the neck after cops discovered her 5-year-old child wandering alone outside a New Jersey apartment complex early Tuesday.

Dumont Police responded to a call from neighbors about the unattended child walking around the complex on Knickerbocker Road just before 12:30 a.m. They were told the child's mother, Michelle Burns, lived in the building, but the child's aunt told officials her sister wasn't answering her cellphone inside the home. Officers entered her apartment and found Burns dead, stabbed with a kitchen knife.

Shortly later, cops said they found Burns' 36-year-old boyfriend Jeffrey Daniels walking in Closter with the victim's two other children, ages 18 months and 6 months, while trying to knock on a home's front door. The 5-year-old found wandering the streets was from a previous relationship the woman had. The boyfriend was taken into custody later charged with murder, weapons posession and endangering the welfare of a child, according to Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella.

No other details, including the identity of the victim, were immediately released. Additional information is expected to be released later Tuesday.

One neighbor said that the couple often had fights, and the victim's sister said she had heard arguing coming from Burns' apartment earlier in the evening. SHe also said that Damiels had knocked on her own door while carrying two young children, and asked her for a ride. Police said there were no obvious signs the woman was able to defend herself before she was killed.

It was the second homicide in Bergen County in less than 24 hours. On Monday, cops found the weighted down body of a 51-year-old Cresskill woman in a county park boat basin. The woman's 14-year-old daughter and an older companion were later arrested in the case.

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