Police were called yesterday to administer a "well-being check" on Friday but once inside the home they found the decomposing body of 42-year-old Carmen Kelly. The police say the suspect, Kelly's boyfriend, pulled a gun on them in the house and barricaded himself inside by threatening to kill the other four children.
Trenton Police Sgt. Robert Carrier told USA TODAY that the standoff began when Kelly's relatives asked the police to check on her since they had not heard from her for some days. A day later, "a small army of police" are surrounding a South Trenton, NJ home as they attempt to negotiate with him to release the remaining children according to Mercer County Prosecutor Joe Bocchini.
The suspect's identity has not been released as authorities continue to negotiate with him. The SWAT team has been present since yesterday afternoon, and crisis negotiators from the city and state are assisting local police to end the standoff without any further deaths.
A state police swat team member readies a robot to enter a home where a man had barricaded himself on Friday in Trenton, N.J. (Photo: Scott Ketterer, AP)
The police have not confirmed that the children inside are hostages, but according to Ray Kelly, the murdered woman's cousin, two girls aged 17 and 14 as well as a boy in his early teens and a four-year-old boy remain inside the house with the suspect. The suspect is communicating with the negotiators but as of this publishing there is no confirmation of whether he is cooperating.
The entire block has been evacuated as a precaution leaving other residents of the neighborhood barred from their houses and the area is cordoned off. A neighbor described the neighborhood as "decent" where residents are all employed, though it is plagued with some gang activity.
"We're working on it and as soon as there's a peaceful ending to this we'll let everybody know what happened," said Det. Will Rodriguez of the Trenton Police Department.