Mother Killed, Daughter Wounded In Merchantville Stabbing
By David Madden, Cleve Bryan
MERCHANTVILLE, N.J. (CBS) – Charges have been filed against a man accused of stabbing his girlfriend and her mother Wednesday night in their Merchantville home. The mother died from her wounds.
Police say Gilbert Villanueva, 26, of Camden, broke into the DuRocher home on Prospect Street at about 10:30 pm. He surprised his ex-girlfriend Kristen DuRocher, 22, in the bedroom.
As her mom Suzanne DuRocher, 50, tried to get him to leave, police say he stabbed her multiple times with a pocket-knife then turned on Kristen.
Kristen’s young daughter was also in the house at the time of the incident. She was unharmed.
“There has been an ongoing history between Villanueva and Kristen,” notes Jason Laughlin, a spokesman for the Camden County prosecutor’s office.
“There were apparently some incidents in the past between them. We are still trying to get the details on that and figure out what exactly led this to a crisis point. But he did enter the home without their knowledge.”
Investigators interviewed Villanueva’s sister, who says she picked him up from behind a Dunkin’ Donuts on Marlton Pike. They say he confessed to her that he stabbed the two women.
Police were then led to Villanueva, in part, by nurses at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, who reported they were treating him for what appeared to be knife wounds on his hands.
Villanueva has four prior arrests for weapons and terrorist threats, including three convictions. He is charged with murder, attempted murder and burglary.
Suzanne DuRocher died from her wounds at Cooper University Hospital. Kristen DuRocher was listed in stable condition at Cooper.
Kristen had taken out a restraining order on Villanueva on October 27th, but then had it dropped on October 31st.
Suzanne was a respected administrator at Temple University Hospital.
A hospital spokesperson says she served as an Associate Chief Nursing Officer of Operations and issued a statement, in part:
“We extend our sincerest condolences to her family and friends as they begin to deal with the after-effects of the tragic loss. For past eight years, Suzanne has been a vital and well-respected member of the Hospital’s leadership team. She touched each of us… and our patients… in a very special way.”
Villanueva was arraigned Thursday and is being held on $1.75 million bail.