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Sunday, January 26, 2014

What Happened to the New Jersey Couple Jorge Rodriguez and Melissa Pereira?

     Jorge Rodriguez, 24, and his girlfriend Melissa Pereira, one year older, had been in a relationship for more than two years. She worked as a production assistant with Fox News in New York City and was also the assistant director of the Boys and Girls Club of Paterson (New Jersey). Melissa resided with her mother at the Wayne Village apartment complex in Wayne, New Jersey. Jorge, the manager of a photography studio, lived in Garfield, New Jersey.

     On Friday night, December 27, 2013, the couple told Melissa's mother they were taking a short drive in Jorge's white Honda Prelude. She left the apartment with her cellphone but left behind her jacket and wallet. People saw the couple that night buying candles at a local K-Mart store.

     The next morning, Melissa was not back in her apartment and Jorge did not show up for work at the photography studio. On Monday, December 30, family members reported Jorge and Melissa missing. The couple had made New Year's Eve reservations at the Cherry Valley Manor in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. They did not show up at the bed and breakfast, and had not called for a refund of their reservation deposit.

     At 10:30 on the morning of January 19, 2014, after a wireless company determined the location of Melissa Pereira's cellphone, police officers entered the Pereira rented garage behind the Wayne Village apartment complex. Inside the garage officers found the white Honda with the frozen couple inside the car. They had been dead for some time.

     According to a police spokesperson, the bodies did not show outward signs of trauma. The Honda's fuel tank was bone-dry, and the car battery was dead.

     While detectives would have to wait for the autopsy results to know the estimated times of death, a resident of the apartment complex provided information that suggested that the couple had died the night they left the Wayne Village apartment in Rodriguez's car.

     The apartment resident told investigators she had seen a young couple in a white Honda pull up to the garage at eleven o'clock on the night of December 27. The man got out of the car, unlocked the door, and backed the vehicle into the garage. The witness said the young man and his companion were smiling and appeared to be happy. 

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