Huffpost Crime

Quavon Foster, NJ Child Held Hostage, Died From Stab Wounds 3 Weeks Before Standoff: Autopsy

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GERALD MURPHY
Gerald "Skip" Murphy, 38, is seen in this photograph provided by the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office in Trenton, N.J., Sunday, May 12, 2013. Three children are safe after a 36-hour standoff with Murphy, who was armed, ended early Sunday, in Trenton, N.J., state law enforcement officials said. Murphy was killed during the rescue, officials said. But the bodies of a woman, presumed to be homeowner Carmelita Stevens, 44 -- the mother of the children -- and a young boy, presumed to be her 12-year- | AP

TRENTON, N.J. -- A child whose body was found in a New Jersey home following a dramatic 37-hour standoff this weekend died from stab wounds on the same day as his mother nearly three weeks earlier, authorities said Tuesday.

The Mercer County Prosecutor's Office said autopsy results on 12-year-old Quavon Foster indicated his death was a homicide. Foster suffered multiple stab wounds to the chest and died less than two weeks before his birthday. Authorities initially said Foster was 13 years old.

The prosecutor's office said Monday that Foster's mother, 44-year-old Carmenlita Steven, also died of multiple stab wounds to the chest and blunt force trauma. Authorities said they died April 25.

Both mother and child were positively identified by medical examiners.

The mother initially was identified by authorities as Carmelita Stevens earlier in the week. Her death certificate has a different version of the name.

Hostage-taker Gerald Tyrone Murphy was fatally shot in the head when police stormed the home early Sunday morning. The shooting ended the standoff that started Friday afternoon, when officers found the bodies while checking on Steven.

Police said Murphy killed Steven and her son, but a motive has not been determined.

Three of Steven's children – an 18-year-old woman, a 16-year-old girl and a 4-year-old boy – had been held hostage and abused during their ordeal, according to prosecutors.

Officers initially went to the home on Friday afternoon after a relative of Steven said she hadn't spoken to her in weeks and was worried about her. Authorities said they also learned her children hadn't been to school in 12 days.

Authorities found the bodies of Steven and her son in separate bedrooms. Steven's other children had been held captive in another part of the house while another sibling, a 19-year-old man, was freed from the home when police visited Friday.

Murphy had a long criminal history including convictions for aggravated and sexual assault in Pennsylvania, according to his criminal record.

Murphy was jailed on an aggravated assault charged in November 1995 and released in February 2000. He went back to prison for sexual assault from May 2001 to January 2011, according to Pennsylvania Department of Corrections spokeswoman Susan McNaughton.

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